Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - The Lie of the American Dream

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - The Lie of the American Dream

Length: 919 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Jungle - The Lie of the American Dream

 In The Jungle, Sinclair deeply understands his subjects and can make the plots real for the reader. Even in a small section of the book, Sinclair makes me feel, imagine and contemplate his words. Chapters 18 through 23, were chapters that Sinclair took time and effort to write and make it to perfection. In my own perspective, I think he achieved this accomplishment and made these chapters a realistic event.

The main theme of these 6 chapters is "The lie of the American Dream". Jurgis thought by coming here to the United States, he would find everything easy, but everything turned against his wishes. In chapter 18, he's out of jail, free, only to find someone else in his home. He realized that his family had lost their home because of lack of money, and because he wasn't there when they needed him the most. Later finding them and finding his wife giving birth with complications and smelling death around him. Is a very shocking and yet horrifying idea.

With only a dollar twenty-five, Madame Haupt helped Ona give birth, but failed to give them their life. With that dollar twenty-five, Ona lost her life and left Jurgis alone forever. That same day little Kotrina earned three dollars, Jurgis took it and got drunk. This American lie struck him hard, the least he can do was to get drunk and forget about life for a while.

However, life was still ahead of him. He went back to the fertilizer, but found no job there. He owed so much money, the least he could do was to get a job. He tried many places until his friend found him a job in a big factory. There he worked and worked, but lost it because the factories closed down and there was no work until further notice. Probably Jurgis thought "America lies to me once again", and has to deal with it.

Thus, Jurgis did not stay with his arms crossed; he went out again to look for more work. He begged, he slept in the streets, he tried everything, but finally he got another job in a mill and worked there. It seemed that life was getting easier but it got worse. One day, Jurgis got home, and found out that his son, his little boy Antanas, had died. This was a nightmare for Jurgis.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - The Lie of the American Dream." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Jungle is Upton Sinclair Essay

- ... The workers do not worry and the factory bosses allow themselves to do whatever they can to speed up the production of the meat. In addition, in order to maintain wages control and to keep them down, most of the time the factories employ additional workers. Often, work offers are less than the demands of people in search for jobs, so the majority of workers only gain a few cents per hour. Along with all those hardships, corruption and crime are additional burdens on the immigrant community. Dede Antanas, Jurgis’s father, could not find a job unless he accepted to grant a third of his wages to another man for helping him get the job....   [tags: lithuanian immigrants, american dream]

Research Papers
1401 words (4 pages)

Sinclair's The Jungle: The Need for Rules and Regulations Essay

- Imagine going to work and being sprayed by a scorching splash of molten metal. Wouldn't that be just terrible. Unfortunately for the working-class Americans of the early 20th century (who worked in a steel-factory of sorts), this hellish scene was a reality for them (Sinclair 215). Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle, a ficticious yet all-the-more realistic novel about the Chicago meat packing industry (and just working/life conditions in general for city-dwelling Americans at the time), follows Jurgis Rudkus --- A Lithuanian immigrant trying to live the “American dream”....   [tags: fiction, novel, capitalism]

Research Papers
1630 words (4.7 pages)

Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle Essay

- Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle The global appeal of the so-called American dream of happiness and success has drawn many people to the “promised land” for hundreds of years. Although the American government preached equality for all on paper, it was driven primarily by money. Both Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck recognized this and used literature to convey the flaws of capitalism. Sinclair’s The Jungle satirized America’s wage slavery at the turn of the century and forty years later, Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath criticized the commercialism of American farming....   [tags: compare Contrast Rhetoric Essays]

Research Papers
1886 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on A Cry for Socialist Reform in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

- A Cry for Socialist Reform in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair The Jungle is usually associated with the federal legislation it provoked. Americans were horrified to learn about the terrible sanitation under which their meat products were packed. They were even more horrified to learn that the labels listing the ingredients in tinned meat products were full of lies. The revelation that rotten and diseased meat was sold without a single consideration for public health infuriated the American public....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2405 words (6.9 pages)

Essay about The American Dream: The Biggest Lie of All

- The American Dream is referred to by many people as the reason to come to America. It is, or so they say, the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Unfortunately they are incorrect, there truly is no American Dream, it is all an illusion given to us by our founding fathers as a reason for the inequality in which people are treated. I have lived in this country for 16 years now and have all the patriotic bullshit about how we give everyone equal opportunity and how everyone is equal in the eyes of the law....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]

Free Essays
675 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on The Broken American Dream Exposed in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

- Sinclair's novel is meant to entirely reject the capitalist system and to bring in its place a socialist system. In this novel, capitalism and its exploitation of the immigrants and other workers, are in fact shown to be tools of the capitalist bosses, used as another means to control and mislead them. In Sinclair's novel the broken dreams of Jurgis Rudkis and his fellow Lithuanian immigrants, unions are meant to be institutions which give false hope to the workers. They live in utterly dreadful circumstances and are exploited like animals by their capitalist bosses....   [tags: The Jungle, Upton Sinclair]

Research Papers
1065 words (3 pages)

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, Jr. Essay

- ... By the end, Jurgis wanders alone, deprived of all dignity. He comes across a rally of political socialists, hears a speech on socialism, and enthusiastically converts to that cause. In the last chapters of the novel, Sinclair manifests arguments for socialism, in the form of speeches that Jurgis hears. The book ends with an appeal of a socialist speaker to "Organize. Organize. Organize!" so that "Chicago will be ours. Chicago will be ours. CHICAGO WILL BE OURS!" (Sinclair 372-73) So, according to some critics, it becomes clear that The Jungle is a propaganda destined to promote socialism over capitalism, and to reveal the hollowness of the American Dream, which capitalists define it as b...   [tags: american dream, lithuanian immigrants]

Research Papers
612 words (1.7 pages)

The Evolution of the American Dream Essay

- Comparing the perspective of the American dream in the 1920’s to the American Dream in the 1940’s and present day seems to be a repeating cycle. The American dream is always evolving and changing. The American dream for present day is similar to the dream of the 1920’s. An Ideal of the American life is to conform to what our society has determined is success. Money, materialism and status had replaced the teachings of our founding fathers in the 1920’s. A return to family values and hard work found its way back into American’s lives in the 1940’s....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]

Research Papers
1649 words (4.7 pages)

Edward Albee's American Dream Essays

- Daddy, in “The Ameican Dream,” is muted by a wife who only views him as a source of financial and emotional validation. Mommy claims, “I have the right to live off you because I married you, and because I used to let you get on top of me and bump your uglies; and I have the right to all your money when you die” (Albee 67). Here Albee illuminates how the commitment of marriage is reduced to a sexual-financial transaction. Daddy is less a man than a commodified husband. Daddy, during the course of the play, scarcely utters an original thought, rather he just acts as an echo of what would otherwise be Mommy’s shallow monologue....   [tags: Edward Albee's American Dream]

Research Papers
1925 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

- Everyone at some point in time lives their life hoping to someday achieve the ultimate goal, the American Dream. If the American dream isn't the force that drives us, it may be another force; Greed. In the novel Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, the character of George Babbitt wants to live in a better world, a world in which class barriers would be easier to penetrate. He currently lives in the city of Zenith, an industrialized mid-west city where what you have separates you from the next person. It is a very ignorant city, but is rather true, even in the present time....   [tags: the American Dream]

Free Essays
469 words (1.3 pages)

Related Searches

In fact there are 4 nightmares that Jurgis passes through, 4 different rages that made Jurgis do what he did in the last chapter on pg.219. His first nightmare rage, was when he lost his home, in pg176. Sinclair says "Grief, despair, rage overwhelmed him". His second nightmare rage, when Ona died, in pg189, Sinclair says "He was like a little child, in his fright and grief". His third nightmare rage, when he lost his job again, pg200 Sinclair quotes "it took him 2 days to get over this heart-sickening disappointment". And his last and final nightmare rage, was the death of his son. This made him leave his home, and walk and walk far away from his shelter and far away from everything he ever wished for in life.

At the same time, Sinclair uses figurative language to describe Jurgi's feelings and to once again make the story realistic to the reader. An example for figurative language will be in pg 177. Sinclair writes Jurgis fears "Racked, and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face." These 3 words, especially mocking has more meaning to it than its literal meaning. Jurgis felt tortured, but it could mean, mental torture, physical torture, or spiritual torture. There are three other words that are figurative language found in The Jungle"monstrous, hideous and demonical". These words are used to describe the poverty of Jurgis family, but its other meanings are stronger. Sinclair uses these words to make his plots stronger, more efficient, more profound. It all really depends how the reader defines them and perceives them.

Sinclair writes deeply, profoundly, directly. Besides knowing how to write intelligently, Sinclair uses two philosophies that sort of make up the whole section of these chapters. Communism and Socialism. These two philosophies are used to compare and contrast Sinclair and his character Jurgis. Socialism appeals to Sinclair because he learned to educate the public about the evils of an economic and social system that destroyed millions of people by disease, poverty and mental torture. It appeals to Jurgis also because that's what he lived through, poverty, disease and mental torture. Jurgis fought with all his strength and might in order to get work, and support his family. Sinclair will define Socialism as " no one is responsible for suffering and evil". In a way I think Jurgis would've also defined it as well.

The literal meaning for Communism is a Dictator. In my perspective, is just like capitalsim, a private shared resource. Communism appeals to Sinclair because Sinclair lived through poverty as so he said in the end of the book, he lived through a harsh society that made him do things that destroyed him. Compared to Jurgis, he lived a life just like his, but Jurgis life was yet far more horrifying. Jurgis dominant was poverty, the debts, the dues, the shame and the guilt.

Overall, I believe that both Sinclair and Jurgis had lives that can be history today. But in reality, they are one person, in a book they are author and character, but they still show resemblance of different similarities.

Return to 123HelpMe.com