The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

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The life of Jurgis Rudkus, from the novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, shares many parallels to the life of the working class in American society during the period 1865 to 1910. that limits the freedom of the working class. Even though it is stated on paper that working class citizens such as Jurgis are equals and just as free as the upper-class citizens, society limited the the freedom of the working class. People like Jurgis are not truly “free” because the social and political forces at the time are limiting them by trapping them in an endless circle of poverty and despair. The majority of laborers experienced deplorable working condition during this time period. Businessmen would take advantage of the laborers and force them to work long hours with severely little pay. Most laborers could not afford to quit because there were more laborers than jobs, resulting in the acquirement of any sort of job to be quite valuable. In Worker Finds His Way on the Shop Floor, Antennas Kaztauskis describes how “there was a crowd of about 200 men waiting there for a job…Twenty-three were taken… all the others turned their faces away and looked tired. I remember one boy sat down and cried, just next to me, on a pile of boards.” (Sheets, 430) These situations occurred quite often since most laborers focused more on gaining the money they need in order to survive than in fighting for their rights and freedom. Furthermore, the lack of job stability gave more power to the businessmen as

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