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The American Dream In How The Other Half Lives By Jacob Riis

Decent Essays
Whereas Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis establishes a connection between the American dream, disappointment, and lack of satisfaction in the middle class, How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis exposes the gap between the poverty, unsightly and dangerous conditions of the poor and the uncaring or uneducated middle- and upper-class in the context of New York.
Set in the 1920s, the period in America following World War I that is considered materialistic and depraved, Babbitt captures the political and personal unrest of the era, as well as the social rebellion at the heart of the Roaring Twenties. Written in third-person narrative, the characters of Babbitt include political extremists and those with overt mistrust of the opposing political party; Seneca Doane, the novel’s progressive liberal embodies this notion. Influential society blacklist Doane; men like William Enthrone and Virgil Gunch view Doane as a communist threat, and when Babbitt suddenly defends Doane and "radical" politics, these men are caught between complete disbelief and threatening mistrust.
How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis is a nonfiction story that recounts Riis’s life after immigrating to the United States from Denmark in 1870. When Riis first immigrated, he took low-paying jobs, and during this time, he experienced the utter poverty in America’s cities. Shocked by the crime and disease the riddled the slums, which he attributed to low socioeconomic status, Riis felt that the living conditions of the
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