The Jungle

Discuss the significance of the title of the story. Then, identify mutiple instances in which Sinclair uses animal imagery in is description of characters. Discuss the reasons behind his word choices.

chapter fifteen.

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"His (Jurgis) eyes were wild and his hair flying, and he was breathing hoarsely, like a wounded bull; but the people on the car did not notice this particularly--perhaps it seemed natural to them that a man who smelled as Jurgis smelled should exhibit an aspect to correspond."

A wounded bull will charge.

"It had worked its will upon Ona, this great beast--and now he had it, he had it! It was his turn now!"

Connor was in fact a beast (monster) for what he had done to Ona.

"He fought like a tiger, writhing and twisting, half flinging them off, and starting toward his unconscious enemy."

A tiger, like Jurgis, would fight with all of its might; teeth and claws included.

The novel's title is significant because it describes the world in which Jurgis and his family lived. Conditions were savage, but it wasn't a world in which the "fittest" survived. Sinclair meant this novel to be a criticism of Social Darwinism, in that survival isn't necessarily based on being one of the fittest, but rather it is based on who is willing to act in the most corrupt and brutal way.


The Jungle