Upton Sinclair


Upton Sinclair was an American writer whose works reflects not only the inside but also the socialists view on things. Upton sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He was born into a family which held to it?s Southern aristocracy in every thing that was done. When Sinclair was ten years old, the family packed up and moved to New York City ( Where there were more opportunities to succeed ).

Upton Beall Sinclair began writing when he was 15 years old. He mostly wrote ethnic jokes and fiction for a fun magazine. He wrote these silly stories and jokes in order for the magazine to pay for his studies at New York City College. After he was done at New York City College, in 1897, he enrolled at Columbia University. By this time, Upton was putting out many novels and respected works. He was already being realized as one of the greatest writers of his time. Upton was putting out up to two novels per week. This was unheard of at this point in time. During these years he wrote Clif Faraday stories such as "Ensign Clarke Fitch." He was also writing Mark Mallory Stories like "Lieutenant Frederick Garrison" for boys? weekly magazine.

His writing was on the right track, but he still didn?t have that one book to put him over the top. In 1900 Sinclair married his first wife. This was a start of a whole new era of writing for him. By 1904 Sinclair was moving toward a realistic fiction type of writing. He had become a regular reader of the "Appeal to Reason", which was a popular socialist-populist weekly magazine at that time. Upton?s big break came in 1906 when he published a book called, " The Jungle." As a writer this is where Sinclair gained most of his fame. This book gave him not only fame, but it also led to the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. This book had the deepest impact since Harriet Stowe?s Uncle Tom?s Cabin. The books popularity enabled Sinclair to establish and support the socialistic Helicon Home Colony in Englewood, N.J. However the popularity of his type of writing fell away after that year. After " The Jungle" was written it set off many similar studies of a group, and industry. or a region. Among some of them were: "The Metropolis" (1908) which was a exploration of New York people, "King Coal" (1917) which was a story about the Colorado Mining strike of 1914, and "Oil!" which was considered one of Sinclair?s most influential writings.

In 1911 Sinclair and his wife had a divorce. This break-up led to the writing of "Springtime and Harvest" which was a tale of poor lovers in a costly relationship. From 1915 to 1934 Sinclair lived in Pasadena, California and later in Buckeye, Arizona. During this time Sinclair continued to write many books as a protest for the socialistic movements of that day.

In 1934 Sinclair decided to run for governor of California, but failed in the election just like the ones he was in before. Having spent the decade making movies with Eisenstein, and running for political office, Sinclair decided to return to his writing of fiction. He regained his popularity in 1940 with the writing of the Lanny Budd series, consisting of 11 contemporary historical novels. From Pasadena Sinclair suddenly moved in 1953 to a remote Arizona village of Buckeye. His second wife, whom he married in 1913, predeceased him in 1961, as did his third wife, in 1967.

Sinclair died on November 25, 1968 in Bound Brook, N.J. Today Sinclair?s writings are not widely read, which reflects the literature and socialistic views of that time. Upton Sinclair believed in the power of literature to improve human conditions at home and in the work place. He was deeply committed to social justice. Sinclair used his pen to expose corruption and injustice. Throughout his life Sinclair was a vocal supporter of socialism.

Now I will compare 2 of Upton Beall Sinclair?s writings in detail. In his first popular writing, The Jungle, Upton shows the life of a worker in the meat-packing plants of Chicago. The Book starts out with a man named Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant, who arrives in America dreaming of wealth, freedom, and opportunity. He finds work in the filthy Chicago stockyards, where the backbreaking work and treatment of workers