Essay on Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite open the novel of The Jungle with a celebration of their wedding. The opening of the book highlights the best time that Jurgis and Ona will ever again experience during their stay in America. Jurgis is convinced that he can accomplish the American Dream, gaining prosperity from hard work and dedication. However, as the novel progresses, we soon see that this dream that Jurgis had is much farther away than he anticipated, and prosperity seems untouchable unless one gives up their morals and values and joins the capitalistic America. In this novel we see Jurgis start with a dream and end with a dream, however much is lost in the process. Jurgis and Ona deicide to move to…show more content…
His job entails sweeping the entrails of slaughtered cattle through trap doors. At first Jurgis enjoys his job despite the unsanitary working conditions, long hours, and intense manual labor. The family seems content at first, however the longer they are in America the more they begin to learn about the true way of survival in Packingtown. Immigrant workers come and go, if someone gets hurt or dies on the job they are immediately replaced with another immigrant. Wage laborers are cut short of pay and can do nothing about it, spoiled meat and leftovers from several slaughtered animals are canned and shipped for consumption, and moving up in the work force seems all but possible. Sinclair is trying to allow the reader to see the truth behind the supposed wonderful place of America. The cheap labor forced upon immigrants, the extremely unsanitary working conditions and food distribution and the harsh reality of social Darwinism. Jurgis' family continues to suffer despite the fact that they have purchased a house. However this is just another con of a sleazy person trying to make a living. The house is cheap and poorly built and is actually being rented until all of it is paid for, allowing the tenant to evict the family for just one late payment. Jurgis, still clinging to the thought of the American Dream, takes a hard hit when he learns that his wife has been forced to prostitution by her
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