Upton Sinclair Writing Styles in The Jungle

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Jungle.
This section contains 422 words
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Point of View

The novel is written in a third person point of view with an authorial voice. The novel is written with a focus on the main character, Jurgis Rudkus. However, the author never really enters Jurgis’s mind. Instead, he tells the story as an outside observer.

The point of view of this novel allows the writer to give the reader information that they otherwise would not receive. This allows the author to report on the packing houses and other aspects of the story in a way that does not require an emotional response from the main character. For this reason, the point of view of this novel works with the plot.

Language and Meaning

The novel is written in the early 1900s with a foreign family as the main characters. This allows for many foreign words and phrases in the novel that are often explained either through text or the way in which the words or phrases are used. The language is sophisticated, reflecting the time period in which it is set, but not necessarily the main characters of the novel.

The language of this novel works with the plot because it is a sophisticated language that does not talk down to the reader, but it is simple enough that less educated readers can understand the basics of the plot. The novel includes many foreign words and phrases, as well as words that are associated with the packing houses of the setting. These words are all easily explained in the text. These words also lend some authenticity to the main characters and the setting.

Structure

The novel is divided into thirty-one chapters. The chapters differ in length, some quite short while others are exceedingly long. The novel is written in a linear time line with the exception of the first chapter which takes place several months after the true beginning of the novel. The novel is told mostly in a narrative in which the author tells the story to his readers. He also shares some of the atrocities of the packing houses of the time.

The plot contains one main plot and multiple subplots. The main plot follows Jurgis Rudkus as he tries to survive during the 1900s in Chicago. A subplot follows Jurgis’s relationships with his wife and her family. Another subplot follows the atrocities of the packing houses during the time period. Another subplot discusses the shock and devastation of poverty. All the plots comes to a satisfying conclusion at the end of the novel.

This section contains 422 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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