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

By Giedrius Subačius | Go to book overview

TWO
The Lithuanian Language

Since the Lithuanian wedding chapter is employed in the novel as a flashback, we might speculate that, in the same way, Sinclair could have distributed his Lithuanian phrases and names into the story during one of the later phases of delineating the plot. In the chapter I will examine various aspects of Sinclair's use of the Lithuanian language.


1. Sinclair's Passion for Foreign Languages

In Kaztauskis's story Poole portrayed some aspects of Lithuanian life and heritage more precisely than Sinclair. But when we switch to the linguistic aspects of both texts this precision is reversed. Except for the names Alexandra (the Lithuanian alphabet did not possess the letter ), Antanas, Kaztauskis (i.e. Kazłauskis), and Brandukas (the latter is the pseudonym of Petras Tumasonis, 1875–1947), the newspaper name Katalikas, and the word skatina (which actually was a Russian word, an epithet that can be literally translated as 'beast, brute'), Poole did not utilize any other Lithuanian linguistic features. The Lithuanian poem that Poole retold was entirely in English. Sinclair, on the other hand, recorded an entire stanza in Lithuanian, written by a Lithuanian poet, Antanas Vienažindys (1841–1892), and integrated many Lithuanian words and names into The Jungle (I have counted 69 words, which were used 194 times; cf. Fig. 2 and Fig. 3). Creating color by linguistic means was obviously more important to Sinclair than Poole. Why would Sinclair endeavor to pay this much attention to the Lithuanian language?

It must be said that Sinclair enjoyed studying foreign languages. In 1902 he published two articles in The Independent on foreign language study: “On the Teaching of Languages” (Sinclair, 1902a) and “Language Study: Some Facts” (Sinclair, 1902b). By the time Sinclair arrived in the Chicago stockyards, he was fluent in reading German, French, and Italian, and had good knowledge of Latin and ancient Greek grammar. Three of these languages—German, French, and Italian—he learned on his own by studying on a regular basis. Thus, at the time Sinclair encountered the immigrants in Back of the Yards, he knew at least six languages (including English) quite well.

Sinclair claimed he had developed his own “absolute rule” for language learning:

I made it the one absolute rule of my work—and I know
it is the one secret of learning a language—never to pass
a word without remembering it, and remembering it for-

-17-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Upton Sinclair, the Lithuanian Jungle: Upon the Centenary of the Jungle (1905 and 1906) by Upton Sinclair
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • On the Boundary of Two Worlds - Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics 5 ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Foreword xi
  • One - Sinclair's Sources and His Choice of Lithuanian Characters 1
  • Two - The Lithuanian Language 17
  • Three - Specific Locations 59
  • Four - Conclusion 83
  • Bibliography 91
  • Abbreviations 95
  • Index 97
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 102

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.