The Jungle was written by Upton Sinclair in 1904. Before he wrote his most famous novel, he had written five others, but they did not turn out to be much profit. Because of this, he did not have much money so a popular socialist newspaper hired and sent him to a meat-packing plant where he got firsthand experience on the trials and tribulations of the hard-working packers there. This job gave him the inspiration to write The Jungle, which soon became an instant success to the public. They bought it for the wrong reasons though. They were deeply intrigued about the standards of the meatpacking plants and what happened behind closed doors. Sinclair had actually intended the novel to sympathize the working class and to build support for the Socialist movement, which he was an avid member of.
Through the workers" long hours, low pay, and horrible living conditions, it is easy to see that in the early 20th century, the working class was severely mistreated.
Jurgis Rudkis and Ona, his soon to be wife, come to Chicago with their family to start a better life in America. Once they get to Chicago, Jurgis and some of the others find work easily. With the thought that they were going to have money coming in continuously, Jurgis and Ona get married and the entire family scrapes up what little money they have and sign an agreement to buy a tiny house. What they didn't know, the agreement actually had hidden costs and was cheaply made. To keep up with all the payments, every family member has to get a job. Jurgis's old and weak father, Dede Antanas, got a job at the meat plant, and soon worked himself to death. Soon, Ona gets pregnant and has a baby boy, Antanas. .
After months of working, the family is struggling to survive through the horrible working conditions. The meatpacking plant was full of filth and deceased cattle. In the summer, the plant would get to unbearable temperatures and the winter was the complete opposite.