Author’s Claim/ Argument:
The author is claiming that capitalism is only for the
rich, treating the poor and working class like slaves leaving them unable to
fight for themselves. This causes many
injustices and inequality in the society.
Why did the author choose this claim or argument?
Upton Sinclair is a socialist who is trying to shed light
on the injustices of capitalism and how socialism could potentially rescue them
What is the tone of the piece? Celebratory? Critical?
Sarcastic? Serious? Humorous? Personal? Impersonal? Mocking? Give Evidence.
The tone in the book is critical and intense. It is
explaining the problems of capitalism and focuses on one family’s
problems. They describe the people with
unfair deals as “enemies lurking for them” with “the monstrous, hideous,
demoniacal wickedness” of high prices.
How does the tone reveal the bias of the author? How
does the tone contribute to the purpose of the piece? Give Evidence.
The tone allows us to understand that Sinclair is
strongly against capitalism and favors socialism. The tone reveals the severity
of the hardships that Jurgis’ family and all the working class goes through
daily. “…low-class and mostly foreign…always
on the verge of starvation…under the system of chattel slavery.”
What is the author’s purpose? To explain? To inform?
To anger? Persuade? Amuse? Motivate?
author’s purpose is to inform the public of the terrible conditions of the
working class through the capitalist system.
Why does the author choose this purpose? What effect
does it create?
author chose to inform the public through the hardships that one family goes
through. This way the author uses pathos
to help the reader connect and uses the readers outrage to gain support in
revealing the problems in capitalism.
Who is the author’s intended audience?
Upton Sinclair’s intended audience was the public in general,
but he also wanted to reach the government.
Why does the writer engage this audience? List
evidence that supports the intended audience.
“For I speak with the voice of millions who are
voiceless.” He wanted to open the eyes
of the public and government to the injustices that so many people are having
to face in silence. In a hope that something could be done to better their
How did the writer arrange his or her ideas? What are
the patterns of arrangement? Particular to general? Broad to specific? Spatial?
Chronological? Alternating? Block?
The book is written in chronological order with a few
exceptions. It starts with the wedding
scene which fits in latter on in the book, but other than that it goes in the
order that he is experiencing everything.
Did the arrangement of ideas, or the way the author
developed them create some sort of effect? What purpose does it serve? Why did
the author arrange his/her ideas this way?
The use of chronological order helps the reader
understand the book easier. The reader
is reading the events in the order that they happen and that makes it fell more
real. It allows you to understand why
and how some things happen and why people react the way they do.
How does the writer use diction? Is it formal?
Informal? Technical? Jargon? Slang? Is the language connotative? Denotative?
Are certain words repeated? Is the language emotionally evocative?
The writer’s diction is informal, but
descriptive. He is describing all the
conditions that they have to work through and makes it so that you can picture
it in your head. It is written in the
way that shows their struggle and makes you sympathetic towards them with
Why does the author use this type of diction? What
effect does it create?
The author uses this diction because it is written in a
way that everyone can understand. It
allows people to connect with one of the characters and fell disgusted with the
way the working class is being treated and how they have to just try and adapt
to life like that.
What type of appeals does the writer use? Ethos?
Logos? Pathos? How does the write establish his/her credibility? What emotions
does the writer want to evoke in the reader? How does the writer create a
The author uses pathos, logos and ethos. He uses pathos by using a family that is
suffering under the communist society. Logos are used show the benefits of socialism
over capitalism. He also uses ethos to add credibility to the book for the
readers to believe it. He gave the family a first-hand experience with the
effects of capitalism.
Why would the writer choose to use these appeals? Which appeal is the most effective in proving
the author’s claim? How do the appeals affect the tone of the work?
The writer uses these appeals to strengthen the book
and have a greater effect on the reader.
Logos was probably the most effective in proving the authors claim. He
wants to show that capitalism is treating the working class like slaves and he
does so with reason.
Any other important rhetorical features or strategies
you noticed? What tropes does the writer use (irony, allusion, simile,
metaphor, etc.) Does the writer use repetition or emphasis on punctuation?
The author uses similes and metaphors. When Jurgis gets his first job it is said
that he “burst into the house like a cyclone, to the rage of the numerous
lodgers” to show his excitement for his job.
After Jurgis’ wife give birth and he enter the room he describes her “as
white as a piece of chalk” to help the reader picture how sick she is then.
Why were these used? Do they influence the reader in
Similes and metaphors help put an image in the readers
head. They help the reader see the troubles that the working class is going
through or the joy when Jurgis gets his first job. There is more feeling in the book when you