Upton Sinclair, the Lithuanian Jungle: Upon the Centenary of the Jungle (1905 and 1906) by Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair, the Lithuanian Jungle: Upon the Centenary of the Jungle (1905 and 1906) by Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair, the Lithuanian Jungle: Upon the Centenary of the Jungle (1905 and 1906) by Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair, the Lithuanian Jungle: Upon the Centenary of the Jungle (1905 and 1906) by Upton Sinclair

Synopsis

In his legendary novel The Jungle' (1905 and 1906), Upton Sinclair included a conspicuous number of Lithuanian words, phrases and surnames. This volume is the first attempt to analyze aspects of Lithuanian linguistic and historical data from The Jungle. Sinclair discovered the Lithuanian language in Chicago and explored it with pleasure. He even confessed to having sang in Lithuanian. If you look for a Lithuanian linguist working in field-research conditions in Chicago's Back of the Yards-there is Upton Sinclair The book targets Sinclair's motives for choosing Lithuanian characters, his sources and his work methods in field-research conditions in Chicago.

Excerpt

In 1906 Upton Beall Sinclair published his novel The Jungle in book format (Doubleday, Page and Co., New York). This book made the young writer, then only twenty-seven years old, a celebrity. It is Sinclair's best-known book. The president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, “was having the Department of Agriculture investigate the matter” (meatpacking industry issues in Chicago described in The Jungle); Sinclair himself “was invited to luncheon at the White House” (Sinclair, 1969, 166–167). Partly as a response to Sinclair's novel, the Congress of the United States enacted the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.

An earlier version of The Jungle was published in 1905 in multiple installments in the socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason (Girard, Kansas, 25 Feb. to 4 Nov. of 1905). The research in my book is based mostly on this first newspaper version of The Jungle.

Sinclair selected Lithuanians working in the Chicago stockyards as protagonists for his novel. He incorporated a conspicuous number of Lithuanian words and phrases into the text of The Jungle, as well as many Lithuanian names and surnames. The primary purpose of my book is to consider why Sinclair chose to portray Lithuanians, and what the possible sources for his Lithuanian language and Lithuanian surnames were— details that helped Sinclair shape the particular Lithuanian aura in the novel. Additionally, in relation to the Lithuanian surnames, I attempt to recreate some concrete topographical details of turn-of-the-century Chicago that were important in Sinclair's novel: the site of Carey's dump, the location of the fictitious Panei Aniele boarding house, the saloon which hosted the Lithuanian wedding feast, and the church where the wedding ceremony took place.

Pittsburgh, Vilnius, Kaunas, and Chicago, 2002–2005 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.