The Jungle

How does Sinclair equate the teaching of Socialism with religion?


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By chance, he enters the Socialist Party rally and undergoes his most significant awakening. Some scholars have likened this awakening to a conversion experience for Jurgis. The conversion narrative is a fixture of much of modern Western literature. Based upon narratives that began appearing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and which found their greatest popularity in Puritan and Evangelical literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these narratives generally focus around a specific time in which a character undergoes some kind of intense personal or intellectual change. Jurgis’s conversion fits this pattern. Through no effort of his own, Jurgis transforms from a character that is at the whim of the horrors of the natural world around him to a person with agency and the ability to influence his life and the lives of others.