Examples Of The Progressive Era In The Jungle

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Aneta Kowalkowska September 25, 2016 Professor Cory Davis History 104 – Modern America: From Industrialization to Globalization The Progressive Era in The Jungle Upton Sinclair’s main focus in The Jungle is to show how capitalism ruins and crushes the American dream through a Lithuanian family of immigrants who struggle to survive in the labor force. Sinclair is sending out a message that immigrants were not a threat to American culture and that the real enemy for every American are capitalists and that socialism is the answer to that problem. He tries to establish a bond between immigrants and Americans by starting the book with a wedding scene. He does not try to make the Lithuanians at this wedding completely Americanized, …show more content…

Social Darwinism adapts Darwin's idea of survival of the fittest to an economical point of view. Capitalists used this idea of Social Darwinism to argue that the brutal labor they were putting their workers through was going to pick out the old and weak and only the strongest were meant to survive. Jurgis was “assured that it was a waste of time to seek employment for the old man in Packingtown. Szedvilas told him that the packers did not even keep the men who had grown old in their own service – to say nothing of taking on new ones. And not only was it the rule here, it was the rule everywhere in America, so far as he knew.” This shows how the capitalists used Social Darwinism to pick out the old by not hiring them because they were weak and of no use to them. Many people died of illness or they were too old and weak; they could not work. Many of the family members such as Dede Antanas, Little Antanas, Ona and Kristoforas died because they were simply crippled and weak. The capitalists are the fittest and the people who survive while the working force is considered the weak. This goes on to show how only corrupt people in the end will survive if modern capitalism …show more content…

Sinclair explains how capitalism turned people greedy and to use each other for their own benefits. For example, “Here was Durham's, for instance, owned by a man who was trying to make as much money out of it as he could, and did not care in the least how he did it; and underneath him, ranged in ranks and grades like an army, were managers and superintendents and foremen, each one driving the man next below him and trying to squeeze out of him as much work as possible.” Sinclair says nothing good about capitalism and continues to be against it by showing examples of how capitalists were not only corrupt but unsympathetic to American values of family, morals, democracy, and community. This sets up an open window for socialism. Sinclair truly believed that Socialism was something that could prevent the continuation of capitalism and wrote this book to promote it. It is clear that everything Sinclair writes is to put a negative image on capitalism and make it seem horrible. However, when he mentions Socialism in his book Jurgis, symbolizing the working class, is captivated by it. In the end of the book Jurgis accidently ends up in a socialist meeting and listens to the speaker talk about the corruption of capitalism and how it needs to be put to an end. He agrees with everything

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