The Economic Tension In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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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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