How Real is the American Dream?

592 Words3 Pages
“So America was a place of which lovers and young people dreamed. If one could only manage to get the price of a passage, he could count his troubles at an end” (18). The account of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian-American immigrant, conveys the struggles, optimisms, and despairs associated with the American dream. Hoping to make a name for himself in the “land of the free,” Jurgis soon finds himself in a situation no better than paid slavery, under the master known as capitalism. Throughout The Jungle (1906), realistic writer Upton Sinclair conveys the theme that the true reality of the American dream differs greatly from its gilded cover.
Upon arriving in America, the Rudkus family is in awe of the skyscrapers, plethora of languages, and mostly freedom. Their credence in the American dream is shown in this passage: “In that country, rich or poor, a man was free, it was said…he might do as he pleased, and count himself as good as any other man” (18). In their naïve state, Jurgis follows blindly in the American dream, wanting a land of freedom where a capitalist system allows every man ...
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