The most widely quoted statement I have made in a long lifetime
was that concerning The Jungle, that "I aimed at the public's heart
and by accident I hit it in the stomach." And here is the head of
that arrow I shot,--the account of the pigs and their sad fate--
which all the anthologists pick out and which apparently the public
still wants to read. When it first came out, the deadly respectable
New York Evening Postcalled the paragraph about God and the
pigs "nauseous hogswash." See what you think of it!
"THEY don't waste anything here," said the guide, and then he laughed and added a witticism, which he was pleased that his unsophisticated friends should take to be his own: "They use everything about the hog except the squeal." In front of Brown's General Office building there grows a tiny plot of grass, and this, you may learn, is the only bit of green thing in Packingtown; likewise this jest about the hog and his squeal, the stock in trade of all the guides, is the one gleam of humor that you will find there.
After they had seen enough of the pens, the party went up the street, to the mass of buildings which occupy the centre of the yards. These buildings, made of brick and stained with innumerable layers of Packingtown smoke, were painted all over with advertising signs, from which the visitor realized suddenly that he had come to the home of many of the torments of his life. It was here that they made those products with the wonders of which they pestered him so--by placards that defaced the landscape when he travelled, and by staring advertisements in the newspapers and magazines--by silly little jingles that he could not get out of his mind, and gaudy pictures that lurked for him around every street corner. Here was where they