Upton Sinclair portrays the economic tension in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries through his novel “The Jungle”. He used the story of a Lithuanian immigrant, Jurgis Rudkus, to show the harsh situation that immigrants had to face in the United States, the unsanitary and unsafe working conditions in the meatpacking plants, as well as the tension between the capitalism and socialism in the United States during the early 1900s. In the late 19th century and early 20th centuries, there were massive immigrants move into the United States, and most of them were from Europe. The protagonist, Jurgis Rudkus, like many other immigrants, have the “America Dream” which they believe America is heaven to them, where they can …show more content…
They paid the three hundred dollars and sign the contract with the businessman, and they fall into the businessman’s trap. Mousseline, an old Lithuanian immigrant, told them, “The family had paid fifteen hundred dollars for it, and it had not cost the builders five hundred …. since it had been built, no less than four families that their informant could name had tried to buy it and failed.” (78) They are not the only one fall into this business trick, there are many other immigrants get fooled by these businessmen. The four families before them are immigrants from German, Irish, Bohemians, and Poles; which are the most popular place that immigrants came from during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in America. There are many other traps around America that deceive the immigrants because their weakness of not knowing English and the desire of getting a great life in America which lead them unpreparedly get fooled by the businessmen. These traps prevented the immigrants from leaving America, because of the significant amount of debt that they have to pay each month, which forced them to keep working and become the slave of this capitalistic society in America. Unfortunately, even they work very hard, in most of the time they will not get anything in return, such that Jurgis’s family cannot even keep the house at the of the book and many of family members’ health destroyed by the harsh working conditions in the
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This book takes place in an immigrant enclave in Chicago, known as Packingtown during the turn of the century. While this book is fictional, it looks at the difficult living conditions immigrants faced coming to America and finding work during the beginning of the 20th century. This book looks at the exploitation of these workers from con men preying on their naiveté to their own employers providing workers with very dangerous and appalling working conditions with poor compensation in return. This book begins with the wedding of Jurgis Rudks and fiancé Ona Lukoszaite. The wedding feast is held in a hall at Packingtown.
To do so, I will begin with a general overview of the “Gilded Age” and the immigrants’ situation during this era. Afterwards, I will examine the characteristics of Riis’ work. Following this, I will show the immediate impact Riis’ publication had.
Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906 to encourage reform of the treatment of immigrants in Chicago. Due to its graphic descriptions of the meat packing plants, the novel brought reform in the food industry instead. The Pure Food and Drug Act required industries to label their food and to cease using chemicals and poisonous substances in their products. However, since the nineteenth century, the food industries have become worse with national monopolies and meat contaminated with e-coli, though they are still more sanitary because they must label their products.
Because Jurgis’s father, Dede Antanas, cannot find a good job, he must support the family through hard labor. The job took its toll on him; “the sores would never heal - in the end, his toes would drop off, if he did not quit” (78). However, Dede “saw the suffering of his family… [s]o he tied up his feet, and went on limping about and coughing” (78). Eventually, he “fell to pieces” because of the difficulty of the job (78). During the winter, Jurgis risks his life by working in an unheated slaughterhouse.
Jurgis started off firmly believing on his American dream of having a better life where he would work hard and earn lots of money. He took up work in a meatpacking plant where he had to sweep blood and body parts of slaughtered cattle. The job was unsafe and the conditions were bitter but he continued working a he was happy to get a job so fast. In the packinghouses the condition were deplorable, every part of the animal was used to make profit. Even spoiled meat was marked as good and sold out to public.
From our textbook we are able to learn the base information of the depression and migrant workers. The document provides a deeper insight with first hand views on the mistreatment of workers by wealthy landowners. First hand photographs allow a real view of how the impoverished migrant camps actually looked. The photos, along with Steinbeck's firsthand observations and genuine concern for the human suffering that was taking place allows for students to be further engaged into the topic. Our Texbook, Give Me Liberty, describes how the depression transformed American life.
The life of immigrants living on the Lower East Side in the late 1800s early 1900s was tough. Coming to a new country itself is difficult. Immigrants didn’t have much to begin with. Most of them had jobs that allow them to barely live. Anzia Yezierska’s short story “The Lost ’Beautifulness’” depicts the immigration experience.
In the book the Jungle many hardships and obstacles are shown through the life of Jurgis and many others that surround him. Both mentally and physically draining challenges were present for immigrant workers in the gilded age. Not only for men but for women and children as well. Since families of immigrants needed all hands-on deck. The environment they lived in was in many ways harsh as well.
John Steinbeck communicates, through the Joad family, in his historical fiction, The Grapes of Wrath, the struggles migrants encountered during America’s unforgettable Great Depression, and contrasts the animalist instinct to survive with those of unity and selflessness, to evoke a response in the reader. Migrants,
New York City swelled with a surge of European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as they flowed in they settled in tenement buildings in Lower Manhattan. Fleeing conditions, such as famine, revolution, and poverty nevertheless adapting to a new life in an unfamiliar land prove to have its challenges. That, however, did not stop the influx of immigrants who remain filled with optimism for a better life. Despite this optimism, immigrants had many shortcomings as they had neither education, nor money, nor shelter making assimilating into American culture complicated by hindering their ability to support themselves. Although there were trials and tribulations to face upon entering a new world, there are the success stories
The United States, during the 19th century, was a growing nation with much promise to prosper and urbanize. An integral aspect that contributed to the nation's expansion were immigrants, Individuals who were seeking more opportunities came from countries such as China, Germany, Ireland, etc. to work in the United States and earn a better living. In 1830, John Downe, an immigrant from England, is an example of a individual emigrating their home country to improve their life. John, in a letter to his wife trying to persuade his family to emigrate as well uses a mixture of tone, atmosphere, and pathos to envoke an overall hopeful but yet melancholy mood.
Jurgis and his family went to purchase a house but found out they will be paying monthly, which resembles more of a rent based system than a purchase. On top of moving into a new house they have learned that the payments also have an interest fee on top of their monthly amount. One of their neighbors decides to share a story with them about other families that have not been able to pay off the house and have been evicted which highlights the corrupt nature of the landlords. It also points out that the families before them have had to rely on a key wage earner for the monthly payments and when they are overcome by disease or injury from the stockyards they lose the house. Unfortunately, Jurgis’s family is effected by the diseases from the stockyards as well but they do not have time to take off work in order
“Sinclair presents socialism as Jurgis’ only hope—and the only hope of workers like him”(1110). Jurgis, the main character in Sinclair’s book, was the father in the rather unfortunate Lithuanian family. The family made the decision to travel to America because to them as outsiders, the country was known as “the promise land,” a place to go in search for hope and well being in their future. It
Families that are poor or have a low income are more likely to commit crimes for the purpose of their own needs to survive. “It is a fact that neighborhoods where the poor are concentrated are more prone to high crime rates, and poor residents are the most common victims of crimes” (1). The best explanation for this is that poorer people have the same needs as a regular middle-class citizen. The poor citizens need certain things to help him or her live a healthy life, such as healthcare, food stamps, and more employment options. One may argue that healthcare is too expensive and that food stamps have been taken away from many people.
It was not an unkind glace. And yet, it said more plainly than words, ‘From where do you come? How did you get here?’” (Yezierska 214). When she was living on Hester Street, she was considered no more than a working-class immigrant girl, to a white American middle-class woman once she has her teaching job.