Immigrants in Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle Essay

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A well-discussed debate among today’s economy is the issues concerning immigrants and their yearning desire to become American citizens. As displayed in The Jungle, a rather perturbing novel about the trials and ruthless temptations early America presents to a Lithuanian family, adjusting to new surrounding and a new way of life is quite difficult. To make matters worse, language barriers and lack of domestic knowledge only seems to entice starvation and poverty among newly acquired citizens, who simply wish to change their social and economic lives to better themselves and their families. Such is the case of Jurgis Rudkus and his extended family, consisting of cousins, in-laws, and their multitude of children. Natives to the country of…show more content…
On the other hand, America, still under the influence of the Industrial Revolution, was inhabited by working men and women, who were more concerned about business and finances than neighborly affections. As a result, Jurgis and his family became, in the eye of society, yet another immigrant family struggling to make a modest living. America has been labeled by outsiders as “The Land of Milk and Honey” for many years. In a cynical twist of irony, Jurgis and his family became indulged in an American lifestyle that was anything but opportunistic. Almost immediately, they were faced with the challenge of finding new jobs and housing. In a city like Chicago, with booming enterprises and large-scale factories, as well as the increased use of assembly lines, finding a job would seem to be effortless. However, location was a key factor in determining the availability of jobs, as well as what type of work needed to be done. Jurgis and his family soon adjust to their new lives, as well as to the work presented to them at Durham’s. After lodging with friends and fellow immigrants for some time, they decide to purchase their own house in Packingtown, a village comprised mostly of the innumerable workers employed at Durham’s. Unbeknownst to Jurgis and his family, however, working at Durham’s would prove to be a turbulent and eye-opening experience, regardless of the fact that Durham’s was an essential catalyst for their new life in America. “Experience is not what

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