Essay on The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

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In The Jungle, Upton Sinclair recounted one immigrant family’s failure to live the American Dream. Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite immigrated to Chicago from Lithuania in hopes of beginning a new and better life together. They “had dreamed of freedom; of a chance to look about them and learn something; to be decent and clean, to see their child grow up to be strong” (Sinclair 143). In actuality, the novel highlighted the difficulties they faced living in filth while struggling to rise up in a grueling America. Upton Sinclair, a muckraker, wrote the The Jungle to highlight the poor working conditions in the country’s meatpacking industry. Truthfully, Sinclair illustrated how capitalism destroyed one family’s American Dream, chronicled the unsanitary environment found in Packingtown’s stockyards, and exposed the corruption of American government.
Sinclair opened the novel with Jurgis’ hope that capitalism would lead his family to prosperity and happiness which is the quintessential American Dream. The narrative tone though quickly exposed capitalism as adverse to American moral values. Immediately, disenchantment with the American Dream becomes evident. Jurgis and Ona’s wedding was “very solemn, for Antanas Rudkus [who] has become possessed of the idea that he has not much longer to stay with his children” (Sinclair 12). His empathetic speech leaves his hopeful family to tearfully anticipate his death while working for the unattainable American Dream. At the…

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