Review Of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, is set in Chicago in the early 1900’s, during the height of social reform known as the Progressive era. The population of Chicago had grown substantially, from 29,000 in 1850 to 1.7million in 1900, due to the influx of immigrants in search of the “American dream”. America was the destination of all in search of freedom, equality and higher wages. The dream promised success in exchange for hard work, determination and morality. The reality was that the “American dream” was just an illusion. Public services were being overwhelmed with the number of immigrants flooding American cities resulting in unsanitary conditions, garbage littered streets and lack of clean water. The cities of New York and Chicago were being plagued with outbreaks of cholera and typhoid due to the raw sewage flowing in from Lake Michigan. Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite…show more content…
Capitalism turns decent human beings into selfish, merciless individuals preying on the innocent to satisfy themselves. The Rudkus family buys a home in hopes of saving money but are not told about the hidden fees associated with owning a house. The women in the family set out to find work and the children are forced to drop out of school to work as well. Ona is blackmailed by her boss into having a sexual affair. Upon discovering this, Jurgis becomes enraged and is arrested after attacking Ona’s boss. The loose of his income puts an enormous financial strain on the family causing them to lose their home. After being released from jail, Jurgis finds Ona in premature labor and is devastated when she is unable to survive the grueling event. This will trigger the chain of events that leads the entire family to lose their jobs and Jurgis finds himself in and out of work and jail. He eventually leaves the city when he becomes too distraught after his young son drowns in a puddle of muddy
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