s The Jungle Novel from Marxism Theory and Freud Theory I. Introduction Essay about The Jungle novel fromMarxism theory and Freud theory
Theories formulated Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are useful tools that can help us understand narratives in literary productions. Both Marxist theory and Freud theory are useful when applied to narratives that tackle the origin of socio-economic problems such as The Jungle. In The Jungle, Upton Sinclair elaborates about many social ills that bedevil society mainly due to the greed of a minority. Sinclair uses the story of immigrants who come to America in search of opportunities to illustrate the evil of capitalism. In this paper, we will apply both Marxist and Freud’s theory on The Jungle novel, and we find that the Marxist theory is more useful in interpreting the plights of the immigrants.
The novel introduces Jurgis and Ona, who recently migrated to Chicago in search of a better life. Jurgis believes in American dream and quickly finds a job in Packingtown, but soon realizes that life is not as rosy as he and other immigrants perceived. The jobs involve hard labor with unsafe working conditions, as well as little regard for the life of individual workers. Moreover, the immigrant community is troubled with criminal activities and corruption as people struggle to make ends meet anyhow they can. The family buys a house, which they later realize it is a fraud as the house is poorly maintained and the agreement filled with hidden charges.
Working at the slaughterhouse during winter is even more dangerous as Jurgis discovers. During winter, the slaughterhouse is unheated making it difficult to see and forcing Jurgis and other immigrants to work under deplorable conditions. Jurgis sprains his ankle and is unable to work for a period of three months, which he spent bedridden. Though the injury was due to poor working conditions, the company refuses to pay him while he recuperates. Worse, once he has recovered, they refuse to give him his job back.
As the story ends, Jurgis realizes the reality of capitalism and misery of immigrants. This crushes his spirit and led him to join socialist party that advocates the rights of the poor. The socialists are of the idea that factories and plants should be owned by workers and not wealthy capitalists. Jurgies finally is employed at a socialist run hotel as a porter. He attends socialist party and shares their belief that Chicago could belong to the poor immigrants if only more individuals convert to socialism.
Using Freudian and Marxist theory allows us to interpret the social ills presented in The Jungle novel. The Jungle is especially good for interpretation of the causes of socio-economic problems because of its presentation of social ills and forces of capitalism. By applying these theories, we can gain greater appreciation of this and other similar issues