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American History Honors

Summer Reading Assignment: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair


Synopsis: This 1906 novel was written by Upton Sinclair, a brief resident/owner (from November 1906 to March 1907) of a commune on Englewood’s East Hill named Helicon Hall, which was consumed by fire. This muckraking classic exposes the plight of the working class and the expose of the graft and corruption embedded in the meat packing industry. It depicts the harsh tones of poverty, the absence of social programs, and the unpleasant living and working conditions, as well as the social injustices prevalent in Chicago’s packingtown, which were all fostered by the corruptive powers of the ruthless meat barons and union chiefs.

1. READ: The Jungle in its ENTIRETY, all 31 chapters (just like Baskin-Robbins flavors). It is readily available online via the internet. Make certain you fully understand the terms MUCKRAKER and MUCKRAKING.
A free to read copy of the book is available here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/140 Choose either the HTML or Plain Text version unless you have an ereader.
2. For EACH & EVERY chapter, based on its contents, CREATE A BRIEF TITLE FOR EACH OF THE 31 CHAPTERS.

3. For EACH chapter, WRITE A BRIEF SUMMARY/SYNOPSIS of what took place. It does not need to be lengthy or detailed, rather it should include all relevant incidents that are significant, memorable, or strikingly important.

4. VOCABULARY: While reading The Jungle, CREATE A LIST OF WORDS that are unfamiliar to you or whose use seems unique or inventive. LOOK UP THESE WORDS in a dictionary and RECORD THEIR MEANING, and it is best to also WRITE DOWN A SYNONYM for each word you search.
5. CREATE A BOOK JACKET/COVER (front and back, keeping in mind and utilize the space that runs the width/thickness of the book) thematic to The Jungle. As often located/appearing on and inside book covers, write a review of the book, create a summary of what the reader has to look forward to reading, and write a brief biographical sketch about Upton Sinclair, its author along its inside flap.
6. SELECT your favorite character and type (10-12 font Arial or Times New Roman) a 1-2 page summary of his/her character development and the character’s key moments/scenes which contribute to the novel’s plot and muckraking theme.

8. If you have any questions about this assignment, please email at: Joela.Basse@stpsb.org



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