The American Dream in the Jungle Essays

2242 Words Dec 20th, 2010 9 Pages
Illusion of the American Dream Many immigrants migrate to America everyday with the hopes to achieve their American dream. For most immigrants the American dream consist of finding a country where effort and morality transcend to success. In “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, a family of hard working optimistic Lithuanians migrate to America with the belief that equality and opportunity dictates that all people should have the same opportunities open to them if they put out efforts. They arrive to the US expecting to find a land of opportunity, freedom, and equality, and acceptance. Instead they find a land where only crime, moral corruption and crookedness enables them to succeed. The hopes and dreams of these individuals are destroyed …show more content…
Jurgis was grateful to have a job and that’s all he knew at the time “to be given a place in it and a share in its wonderful activities was a blessing to be grateful for, as one was grateful for the sunshine and the rain” (Sinclair 43). Is not until later on when he starts to understand more and more about the bitterness he sees in his co-workers. Another form of exploitation that doesn’t allow Jurgis and his family to achieve their American dream is the long hours of labor they must work in order to maintain the family alive. These unhealthy long hours of labor that they must work brings the family physical and mental pain. When Jurgis starts to work in the meat packing plant he is exited and happy to have a job, soon after he discovers that he is engaged in unfair labor activities as well as unsafe food handling. In chapter 11 Jurgis suffers from a terrible accident at work. The company doctor tells him that he'll be laid up for months with a severe ankle and foot injury. The accident poses a terrible problem for the family. Without Jurgis' wages, they might starve. “It was dreadful that an accident of this sort, that no man can help, should have meant such suffering. The bitterness of it was the
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