The American Dream In Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'

901 Words4 Pages

Kalos Soriano
Ms. Wiencek
English 2A Hour 4
May 8, 2023
Survival of the Privileged “Instead of a promised land, the family finds a land where greed and exploitation rule.” (Munro 1). What distinguishes someone as an “American”—is it having citizenship in America, or is it the support of the ideology of capitalism? Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle offers perspectives on what it means to be American, as well as the false reality of the “American Dream” and examples of the hardship’s immigrants faced while living in the late 1900s. The American Dream is a concept that has been celebrated in American culture as a symbol of hope and opportunity for individuals seeking a better life. However, Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle reveals the harsh realities …show more content…

The “American Dream” is just a loop that makes one seem like they are achieving their desired goals but end up falling back down. Jurgis is a perfect example of this. Jurgis and Ona are immigrant from Lithuania and see America is a place of prosperity and hope. Munro sates that “…The American Dream creates a false sense of hope and opportunity for individuals who are convinced that they can achieve success through hard work and determination, regardless of their social or economic background.” (Munro 2). Jurgis believes that with hard work and dedication they can live comfortably. This “Dream” is furthest from the truth. The “American Dream” comes with the ideas of capitalism, and the ideology exploits the working class to just give more money and power to the already wealthy upper-class. Capitalism includes terrible working conditions, child labor, prostitution, political …show more content…

The novel is a vivd depiction of the struggles of a Lithuanian immigrant family in Chicago, as they try to make a living in the meatpacking industry. A key element in being “American” and an immigrant is having to be dedicated and persistent. Looking past the hardships at the moment, but to see what will come in the future when all of the hard work is done. According to Lynn Munro, writer of a literary criticism of The Jungle,
“Jurgis personifies their defiance, constantly vowing to work harder and refusing to accept the systemic causes of his sufferings. He dedicates himself to achieving the American Dream and is convinced that through his own resolve and determination he can provide for his family and loved ones and rise through the system”

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