Throughout The Jungle, Jurgis runs into many obstacles, including poverty and corruption. These two factors reduce his chances of finding the American Dream. In trying to maintain a well-paying job an... ... middle of paper ... ...to a heartbreaking end for the family. In essence, capitalism and corruption both play a central role in addressing the theme of The Jungle is expressed through capitalism and corruption. These factors hinder the lives of immigrants Jurgis Rudkas, Teta Elzbieta Lukoszaite, and Ona Lukoszaite as they migrate from Lithuania to Chicago in hopes of finding the perfect American Dream.
As a result of the hard manual labor and his name being put on the blacklist, Jurgis resorts to “hoboing it” just to survive towards the end of the novel. The poverty tears the family apart: they end up splitting up towards the end of the novel, all going separate ways. Poverty negatively impacted the familial relationships of thousands of immigrants in Chicago in the early 1900s.
Although Jurgis finds work quickly with Marija (Ona’s cousins) and Jonas (Ona’s Uncle). The extended family buys a house that had hidden costs and that was poorly maintained which increased the living expenses. Due to the expenses, Ona and Stanislovas (Ona’s step sister) were forced to get jobs in Packingtown that involves hard labor and unsafe conditions. Eventually Dede (Jurgis’s father) is killed by the hard work that Packingtown placed upon him. Winter comes around and Jurgis is forced to work in an unheated slaughterhouse.
A family he knows has lost all their money to creditors in Lithuania and now have nowhere to live, but a member of the family, Jonas, talks about how a friend he knows who immigrated to America and had great success. The majority of the immigrants who came to America at this period, during the Industrial Revolution, were mainly “Lithuanians, Poles, Slovaks, or Bohemians” (28). Before them it was the Irish, and then before them the immigrants mostly coming to America were German (70). The reason that Jurgis decided that he would go to America is because of all the great things he had heard about it, about the ideal of being free. He had heard “In that country, rich or poor, a man was free, it was said; he did not have to go into the army, he did not have to pay out his money to rascally officials—he might do as he pleased, and count himself as good as any other man” (23).
Throughout the novel, we see Jurgis as a strong man that his only incentive is his family. His hopes are destroyed by the bad working and living condition he was going through in Chicago. The author expresses his vision of how businessman exploit workers by capitalism, saying that labor in factories couldn’t make more money or even they couldn’t keep track of how much they were working in a day “during the summer the packing-houses were in full activity again” (Sinclair, 111). If in the first place Jurgis had known what was the labor union he would keep on track with his work hours and his payment, so in other words, joining the union would avoid all the complications he and his family passed with their jobs. They could have had more rights or an access to a healthcare like an insurance, even they could have got more money for the extra hours he
These Europeans were thrilled to come to the United States. They saw America as a land of opportunity, and a chance to live the "American Dream". Upon arrival to this dreamland of opportunity, the United State's capitalistic society ruined many ambitions of said immigrants and embedded them into a harsh routine that controlled each aspect of their lives. In Upton Sinclair’s story The Jungle we are introduced to Jurgis Rudkus and his family, they are poor Lithuanian immigrants who came to America in search of an easier life, only to end up working in Packingtown also known as the meatpacking plants of Chicago. To some readers Jurgis and his family face massive hardships such as cruel and hazardous working conditions, poverty and famine, corrupt businessmen who take their money and crooked politicians who take advantage of them.
The Jungle was written by Upton Sinclair in 1906. The story is set in the early twentieth century and it follows the Lithuanian immigrants of Jurgis Rudkus and his family as they try to live with the difficulties and hazards of working in Chicago’s stockyards. Deceit and corruption followed the family the moment they began their American Dream by the powerful bosses and politicians of the city. However, the main characters believe that through hard work all is possible, and soon the whole family pitches in to create a stable income. They soon discover that they have no allies in America.
After the Black Death took the cities, shortly after it spread into the villages and farms. Killing the farm workers, the Black Death left crops not gathered which led to a shortage of food supplies and people to starve. Because of the mortality and the labor shortage, prices of goods dropped while the wages rose. Landowners were so desperate that they tried everything to keep the peasants to work for them. This gave the perfect opportunity for the laborers to demand higher wages how much they were valued.
The Smolinsky family was living in the time of the Great Depression. They had left Russia in order to escape the poverty and harshness only to reach America and find themselves in a similar situation. The Great Depression engulfed many families, drowning them in poverty and forcing them to become desperate enough to beg for food. The Smolinsky family was no exception. The depression was difficult enough for the original American citizens much less the immigrants with nothing but the shirts on their backs.
Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite open the novel of The Jungle with a celebration of their wedding. The opening of the book highlights the best time that Jurgis and Ona will ever again experience during their stay in America. Jurgis is convinced that he can accomplish the American Dream, gaining prosperity from hard work and dedication. However, as the novel progresses, we soon see that this dream that Jurgis had is much farther away than he anticipated, and prosperity seems untouchable unless one gives up their morals and values and joins the capitalistic America. In this novel we see Jurgis start with a dream and end with a dream, however much is lost in the process.