Teacher Guide

The Jungle Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Jungle

Researching the novel in 1904, Sinclair planned to create a work of art that would do for slaughterhouses and labor conditions in Chicago what Uncle Tom's Cabin had done for slavery. Published in 1906, at the height of public criticism of the meatpacking industry in Chicago, The Jungle became a success as both a work of fiction and a kind of "muckraker journalism" (a term coined by Roosevelt and used against Sinclair because of the interest in turning up problems without actually offering solutions). When it was finally published by Doubleday, after Sinclair had tried to publish it himself, the novel spread quickly. After a year it had sold 100,000 copies, turning the public eye towards...

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