BOOK REPORT PROMPT
The Jungle’s author, Upton Sinclair, famously quipped about his novel, “I aimed at the public’s heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”
• What do you think Mr. Sinclair meant when he said this? Explore.
• How was the novel connected to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906?
• Do you think the meat production industry in the early 1900s needed to be regulated?
• Do you think it needs to be regulated in today’s world?
• Why or why not?
Also explore these issues in your paper:
The world described in The Jungle still exists
Sweatshops, poor working conditions and slave wages have been a problem since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. While it is now rare to find a sweatshop in America, the problem has definitely been exported overseas.
The recent textile factory fires and building collapse in Bangladesh again focused the world’s attention on this issue. In late November 2012, a fire in a Bangladeshi textile factory killed over 100 workers. Another fire which just occurred in early 2013 killed more textile workers in Bangladesh. Then on April 24, 2013, an eight-story building outside the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, that housed several garment factories collapsed killing over 1,000 factory workers.
As NPR’s Scott Neuman, wrote “The April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, where apparel was made for several Western retailers, has sparked an international outcry over substandard working conditions in Bangladesh, where workers have some of the lowest wages in the world and the garment industry is largely unregulated.”
This isn’t the first time overseas sweatshops have been in the news — Nike, Apple and Wal-Mart have faced similar criticism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5uYCWVfuPQ
Is it ethical for business owners to export jobs America to third world countries? Explore fully.
Is it good business to allow products to be manufactured by workers in sweatshops who are not paid a living wage? Is there a solution to this problem? Explore.
Legislation is typically a reaction to crises
The passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act was intimately connected to Upton Sinclair’s expose in The Jungle.
Are there any other books that have influenced the passage of legislation in America? Also explore other crises that have led to the passage of significant legislation – like the Great Depression, race relations in the 20th Century, destruction of the environment, the 2008 economic meltdown. What legislation was passed in the wake of these crises? How was the legislation supposed to work? Did it work?
MLA style essay
You should be able to answer these questions in a well-formulated 1500 word MLA style essay (5 to 6 pages 12 point font – Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma – double spaced). See this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22CPQoLE4U0 for instructions on formatting an MLA style essay. In your essay. do not be afraid to express your opinions about the book, sweatshops in the today’s world or legislative reactions to societal problems.
Finish the book before we start Employment Law class sessions. Your papers must be printed and turned in on the last day of class.