Sinclair, Upton. (1878 - 1968).
L i f e
- born in a family destroyed by his father’s drinking x but: of rich relatives
- his own experience of both the poor x the rich > a desire for social justice and improvement
W o r k
- earned for his college by writing humours stories and anecdotes for periodicals
The Journal of Arthur Stirling (1903):
- raged against the materialistic society not supporting its geniuses
- scorned the popular writing he was forced to produce for his living
‘ M u c k r a k e r ’ F i c t i o n :
- used a detailed journalistic style
The Jungle (1906):
- originally a series of newspaper reports based on his actual journalistic examination of the Chicago slaughterhouse conditions
- depicted the exploitation of the workers in the slaughterhouse and offered socialism as a solution
- shocked President Roosevelt, made the government attend to the hygiene of the meat-producing industry x but: did not improve the conditions of workers
The Metropolis (1907) and The Moneychangers (1908):
- concern: the speculation of the stock market
I n t e r - w a r J o u r n a l i s m :
- wrote journalistic articles against capitalism
- a didactic play, expressionistic in technique
- concern: government corruption and its unlawful connection with oil tycoons
- concern: the ‘miscarriage of justice’ sentencing two workers to death
P o s t - W W I I F i c t i o n :
‘The Lanny Budd Series’:
- includes 11 novels concerned with the illegitimate son of a weapon producer entering in disguise the political scene and influencing the world policies
- covers the political history of America and Europe over the first half of the 20th century
- ends up as an excuse for the American capitalism
> Dragon's Teeth (1942):
- one of the books of the series, won him the Pulitzer Prize
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorUpton (Beall) Sinclair (Jr.). (1878 - 1968). American.
WorkNovelist. Journalist. Author of The Jungle (1906).
GenreNaturalism. Social novel.
Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.
Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.
Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.
McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.
Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.
Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.
"It was the incarnation of blind insensenate Greed. It was a monster devouring with a thousand mouths, trampling with a thousand hoofs: it was the Great Butcher -- it was the spirit of Capitalism made flesh".
Description of the meat factory from The Jungle (1906).