The Jungle By Upton Sinclair Essay

The Jungle By Upton Sinclair Essay

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The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is a novel that details the struggles endured by an immigrant and his family in Chicago in the early 1900s. The main character, Jurgis, sought out a better life than the one he had in Lithuania. He and his family heard stories of men making fortunes in America, "where a man might make three rubles a day". (Sinclair 27) America "was a place of which lovers and young people dreamed." (Sinclair 27) However, with their voyage to a new land, the dreams of Jurgis and his family were soon met with seemingly insurmountable odds. The story of Jurgis is a scathing commentary about the twentieth century "American Dream" and the flawed Capitalist ideals it was built upon.
Jurgis and his family initially dealt with the culture shock of America and the difficulties of a language barrier in a new country. The family of twelve worked hard to save money in Lithuania only to have a majority of it swindled out of their hands by people who preyed upon foreigners who could not speak English. However, through persistence, the family was able to make their way to a city called Packingtown in Chicago. Upon entering the city, Jurgis was optimistic about his new life and the opportunities he had. He believed that a good work ethic and working hard would allow him to achieve success in America. Unfortunately, Jurgis and his family had to cope with other immigrants who had lived there for many years. Immigrants who had learned that success comes from taking advantage of the new waves of immigrants who arrive in their city.
Moreover, the jobs that were available to immigrant laborers such as Jurgis involved extremely unsafe, dangerously fast-paced, grotesquely filthy working conditions. Sinclair described horrible sit...


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...is endured, but I have been subjected to the pressures of businesses that take advantage of their status as an income provider for workers and their families. As for my future practice, this novel helped reassure my beliefs that capitalism and socialism are both political and economic view points that have the best of intentions, but when they are put into practice neither account for human greed and laziness. I came to realize a long time ago that extremes on either side of the political or economic arena will always have some sort of loophole in which humans could take advantage of the system. If I ever need to somehow help enact some sort of policy change for my clients or the macro environment, it will always be good to keep in mind that extremes that we think might fix the problem may in fact only cause more problems if a sense of moderation is not kept in mind.

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