The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

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Critics often argue that Upton Sinclair, author of many classic American novels including The Jungle, was cynical and bitter even. However if one were to dig just a bit deeper they may realize that Sinclair was spot on in his idea that this “American dream” that our country sells is actually a work of fiction. In his book The Jungle, Sinclair, points out the flaws of the American dream. Many immigrants traveled thousands of miles aboard, cramped, disease infested, ships with hope of coming to this great land of the free where new opportunities would arise for them if they just worked hard and stayed true to their morals. Sounds pretty great right? Well as soon as these hopeful immigrants would arrive in this great land it became clear that the life they had been promised was a complete myth. “Instead of a land of acceptance and opportunity, they would find a place of prejudice and exploitation” (SparkNotes 2011). Faced with hardships, these immigrants dealt with social ridicule, lack of political power and discrimination. Their lack of education and language skills made it nearly impossible to obtain a job. It was clear now that this land of opportunity was nothing but an illusion.
Sinclair uses a third person narrative in his book The Jungle, of a family who emigrates from Lithuania to America, to portray the harsh realities that these immigrants often encountered. Upon arrival the Rudkus family is looked down upon by the citizens of America due to their social status.

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