Examples Of Struggles In The Jungle

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A Time for Struggle and Change Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, depicts the struggles of Lithuanian immigrants as they worked and lived in Chicago’s Packingtown at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The United States experienced an enormous social and political transformation; furthermore, the economy, factories, and transportation industry grew faster than anyone had ever seen. Immigrants and migrants were attracted to city life for its promise of employment and their chance at the American Dream. The poor working class had little to no rights, and they grappled with unfair business practices, unsafe working conditions, racism, Social Darwinism, class segregation, xenophobia, political corruption, strikes, starvation, poor housing,…show more content…
During the Progressive Era, most employers were not concerned with workers rights and focused more on profit than human rights or safety. The poor working class, as well as immigrants who had worked in the United States for a while, became infuriated over the unfair treatment and working conditions of which they suffered. Hugh Rockoff explains, “…industrialization had alienated the workingman…” (Rockoff 747). Workers felt unappreciated and that without rising up against their employers, they would be left starving,homeless, or dead. Workers wanted more money, an eight hour workday, safe working conditions, and protection against wage cutting. A couple of reformers during the Progressive Era were Jane Addams and Jacob Riis. Both worked toward helping the immigrants, women, children, and the poor working class. Jane Addams was a reformer who opened a settlement house to help the less fortunate. Addams describes the settlement in her book, Twenty Years a Hull-House, “A settlement is above all a place for enthusiasms, a spot to which those who have a passion for the equalization of human joys and opportunities are early attracted” (184). Addams pushed for sanitation, safe working conditions, womens rights and suffrage, tenement house regulation, child labor laws, eight hour work days, and fair wages. Jacob Riis was a mukracker and photo journalist who chronicled immigrant life in urban cities (Nguyen 6). Riis started as a police reporter/photographer in New York and used his experience to put together, “How the Other Half Lives.” It was a piece exposing the horrible lives of the immigrant working class; furthermore, the book displayed pictures of people sleeping on floor mattresses, dirty children wondering the alleys, no windows in crowded tenement houses, and kids digging through human waste in the city (Nguyen
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