American Dream In The Jungle

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The Illusive American Dream

The illusive American Dream. Wanted by many, achieved by few. In his book, The Epic of America, written in 1931, James Truslow Adams stated that the American dream is,..

The promise of this equal opportunity was the draw for many immigrants. They longed to live in a place full of prosperity. However, this was rarely the situation they they found themselves in. Illustrated in Upton Sinclair’s classic protest novel, The Jungle, the story of a poor slavic immigrant family set in Packingtown, Chicago, struggling to make ends meat all while grasping for that American Dream. It becomes quickly apparent that the American Dream is just that, a dream, and that the American system only corrupts the kind, that capitalism
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Social Darwinism reigns supreme, and it’s eat or be eaten. It’s chain with the immigrants were once abused, becoming the abuser. This is highlighted by the fact that Irish immigrants, who just a few generation before, had been at the bottom of the totem pole, barely surviving and facing harsh discrimination, are now cheating the new generation of Eastern and Northern European immigrants. Mike Scully, an Irishman, is now the political boss of Chicago. He is involved with much of the apparent corruption in Packingtown from the potholes to the deeply broken electoral system. It’s a testament to just how easy it is for people to dehumanize the immigrants become. Sinclair explained the chain…show more content…
Of course, this isn't actually possible for Jurgis and his family. Their expenses are too large, and misfortune seems to follow them around like shadow. The women have to work, even the children even have to work/beg for awhile. The American Dream is for a naive man, and its reality is much more harsh. This is where socialism comes in again, at the end of the story. After the various tragic events that have ruined Jurgis’s life, from his wife and child dying, to going to prison, becoming a beggar and mugger, he stumbles upon a Socialist political meeting. For a man in Jurgis’s situation, socialism seems like an ideal solution to his problems. It offers a fairness that the American system of capitalism lacks, it is the true equality that Jurgis wanted. The rich use and abuse the poor, as illustrated by
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