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Economic Tensions And Historical Conflicts In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Discuss how Upton Sinclair portrays the economic tensions and historical processes at hand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle tells the narrative of a couple who immigrated to

Chicago from Lithuania for a better life. The couple, Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite,

and their entire families move to Packingtown, Chicago a town that consists of many

other Lithuanian immigrants. Shortly after, the couple get married. Although the town of

Packingtown was said to be one of the more dangerous and filthy neighborhoods of the

state, the newlyweds and their relatives decide to go thru any hardships as long as they

can work and live an American life. Jurgis takes up a job as a sweeper at a

slaughterhouse
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Soon he realizes that capitalists are just corrupt people who just happen to

have wealth. The wealth gap and corruption becomes apparent to him; the capitalist

Jurgis once hope to embrace as he lived the “American dream” is nothing more than

predators “preying upon the people”. Jurgis soon after joins a union and learns the web of

lies that runs the Packingtown. This time period had a lot of Union members who wanted

an economic reformation. Many workers began to advocate fo their rights as laborers.

Jurgis attends a rally where a speaker says that “If more people convert to socialism,

Chicago will be ours”, which was everything Jurgis believed.Despite, the string of

unfortunate events that Jurgis is forced to endure, Sinclair chooses to end his novel on a

lighter note. Giving the immigrants hope for reformation through worker collaboration.

He almost seems to be advocating socialism, However, while socialism was condemned

throughout America, it served as a medium to help workers demand their rights.

Therefore, Sinclair;s novel is an embodiment of the immigrant worker’s struggle

during the 19th/ 20th century.Immigrants had to go through harsh working conditions
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Eventually Sinclair emphasizes a turning point, in which the immigrant family

finally realizes the illusion of the “American Dream”Here, Sinclair emphasizes a turning

point, in which the immigrant finally realizes the allusion of the “American dream”. “To

Jurgis the packers had been equivalent to fate; Ostrinski showed him that they were the

Beef Trust. They were a gigantic combination of capital, which had crushed all

opposition, and overthrown the laws of the land, and was preying upon the people.” In

the beginning of the novel, Jurgis considers capitalists as having control over him. He

thinks that he just merely works under them and he always has to no matter what

happens. Soon he realizes that capitalists are just corrupt people who just happen to

have wealth. The wealth gap and corruption becomes apparent to him; the capitalist

Jurgis once hope to embrace as he lived the “American dream” is nothing more than

predators “preying upon the people”. Jurgis soon after joins a union and learns the web of

lies that runs the Packingtown. This time period had a lot of Union members who wanted

an economic reformation. Many workers began to advocate fo their rights as
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