I am finishing it tonight. I’ve heard this book talked about for years and was happy to finally pick up a cheap, used copy. In the past, when people talked about this book, they often mentioned how it was a catalyst for the introduction of food purity laws. Some of my past English teachers did not even mention that it is a story of an immigrant family. They just said it is about the nasty things that went into factory food at that time.
Yes, the sanitary conditions in Chicago’s meat packing houses in the early 1900s is a big part of the story. I find even more so however, that it is about the struggles of the people and the animals who lived and worked in those conditions. That is not even mentioning the Socialism theme. Why do you think people focus so much on the gore in the slaughter houses as opposed to the human suffering portrayed? Was it because this was a new form of “journalism” the likes of which had not been seen until that time? Or, and this is getting into Great Debate territory, do people care more about the horrible things in their food than they do about horrible things happening to other people?