Capitalism Versus The American Dream English Literature Essay

“ Seek justness, promote the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the instance of the widow ” ( Isaiah 1:17 ) . From the sacred pages of the Holy Bible to the blood-stained race murder of more than six million Jews during the holocaust, subjugation serves as the accelerator for brushing societal alterations. Similar to the “ instance of the widow ” , the predicaments which plagued bend of the century immigrants sparked a motion that finally led to the creative activity of Upton Sinclair ‘s outstanding societal review, “ The Jungle ” . In “ The Jungle ” , Jurgis and his household portray the life of a fighting Lithuanian immigrant household who fight hard to last in a universe run by their capitalist masters. Upton Sinclair successfully uses poignancy to arouse the emotions that arose from the working adult male ‘s battle in add-on with scenes that depict the predicaments of the immigrant to juggle the American Dream and expose capitalist economy for the immorality that it was.

The American Dream can best be described as “ Life, Liberty and the chase of felicity. ” To many, the American Dream stands as a glittering illustration of autonomy and prosperity. Tonss of bend of the century immigrants, like Jurgis ‘s household, came to happen false hope in the promises of the American dream. The sense of optimism felt by Jurgis before coming to American fleetly changed into a battle to last one time he faced the rough worlds of the Chicago Meatpacking District. Parini captures this construct best when he writes, “ The gap chapter- the matrimony of Jurgis and Ona- represents the lest minute of hope and joy in the novel ” ( Parini 282 ) . In Chapter Two of “ The Jungle ” , Sinclair dwells into the history of Jurgis ‘s household before they make the transition to America. Ridden with debt due to the decease of Ona ‘s male parent, they immigrate to America in order make a better life for themselves.

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The Gospel of wealth that the American Dream promised had reached a far off land like Lithuania. Expanding on the subject of the American Dream, Sinclair illustrates the motivations which cause work forces to immigrate to America:

“ where, they said, a adult male might gain three rubles a twenty-four hours, and Jurgis figured what three rubles a twenty-four hours would intend, with monetary values as they were where he lived, and decided forthwith that he would travel to America and marry, and be a rich adult male in the deal. In that state, rich or hapless, a adult male was free, it was said, he did non hold to travel into the ground forces, he did non hold to pay out his money to rascally officials- he might make as he pleased, and count himself every bit good as any other adult male. So America was a topographic point of which lovers and immature people dreamed. , equality, and most importantly- prosperity ” ( Sinclair 25 ) .

His household ‘s hopes for a better tomorrow rise as he recounts a narrative of a adult male who made his luck in America. Motivated by the untold wealth that America promised, Jurgis worked diligently to pay for a transition, so that he “ could number his problems at an terminal. “ ( Sinclair 25 ) . Therefore, the working adult male ‘s aspirations for a better future evoke a feeling of optimism and hope in the reader.

The American dream served to entice countless ill-conceived immigrants into the rhythm of capitalist economy. Where it serves as a incentive for the full population, the American Dream has non changed since the yearss of the early 20th century. White lookout fencings, prissily trimmed lawns, two childs, and a nice SUV parked in the private road ; are illustrations of things that cause many to endeavor for a higher economic and societal place. Jurgis, like many other Americans invariably aspired to be higher on the societal and economic ladder.. The Jungle is dedicated:

“ to the ‘Workingmen of America ‘ . Into it had gone “ Sinclair ‘s heartstick of find of the flith, disease, debasement, and weakness of the wadding worker ‘s lives the fire of the novel came from Sinclair ‘s whole passionate, rebellious yesteryear, from the penetration into the form of capitalist subjugation shown him by Socialist theory, and from immediate extension into the characters ‘ lives of his ain and his married woman ‘s battle against hungriness, unwellness, and fright ” ( Rideout 173 ) .

In world, the life of an American worker was a tough life. Oppressed by the capitalist hogs, Jurgis transforms himself from an optimist to a socialist. Everything after Onas and Jurgis ‘ nuptials becomes progressively worst. Jurgis ‘s conflict with Capitalism marks the pages of the Jungle, invalidating it of the optimism life in America promised at first.

Capitalism, in its simplest footings can be defined as: people who want to stand out will stand out, those who do non wish to would non win. A baronial construct in theory, it is non so in practicality. Harmonizing to Woodress, “ Sinclair was composing a sort of work that might be called the reportorial novel or the novel of societal protest ” ( Woodress 165 ) . Sinclair ‘s ultimate motivation for composing his concentrating novel, “ The Jungle ” , came about from his disgust with capitalist economy. He wished to expose its immoralities ; finally the thought that the multitudes are forced to work for the benefits of a privileged few.

A prime of illustration of the “ immoralities of capitalist economy ” can be seen when Jurgis is sent to a gaol because he attacks his married woman ‘s raper, Phil Connor. The gaol is described as a vile, disgusting topographic point. Jurgis says that the prison is a topographic point in which:

“ there where to beat, one above the other, each with a straw mattress and a brace of grey blankets-the latter stiff as boards with crud, and alive with fleas, bed bugs, and lice. When Jurgis lifted up the mattress he discovered beneath it a bed of scampering roaches, about as severely frightened as himselfaˆ¦They put him in a topographic point where the snow could non crush in, where the cold could non eat through his castanetss ; they brought him nutrient and drink-why, in the name of Eden, if they must penalize him, did they non put his household in gaol and go forth him outside-why could they find no better manner to penalize him than to go forth three weak adult females and six incapacitated kids to hunger and stop dead? That was their jurisprudence, that was their justness ” ( Sinclair 188-192 ) .

Even though the conditions of the gaol were awful, Jurgis was still given the things necessary for endurance ; nutrient and shelter. Outside of the prison, his household who works difficult to set staff of life on the tabular array is forced to cover with the less than ideal conditions of Packingtown. Thus, the sarcasm lies in the fact that a felon is protected by the jurisprudence, yet a virtuous hard-working household is left to fight. His household finds themselves in a worst quandary once the corrupt capitalist, Phil Conner, fires Ona. Along with Ona ‘s loss, Teta and Marija besides lose their occupations. The household is unable to back up itself, therefore it struggles to last. The one time optimistic Lithuanian household becomes pawns in the grim rhythm of Capitalism. Their parts are seen as futile ; their life ‘s are seen as worthless.

Jurgis ‘s one time optimist household have become yet another victim to the barbarous rhythm of capitalist economy. At the book ‘s flood tide, he is thrown into a barbarian prison, and from that point on his household ‘s economic position merely becomes worst. His household failed to accomplish the position quo ; “ the American Dream ” . In world, it is evident that capitalists used the American dream during the bend of the century to take advantage of the abundant immigrant work force. Through the usage of poignancy, to assist the reader identify with the immigrant every bit good as repeat of the immoralities of capitalist economy, Sinclair proves that societal reform was a necessity. Sinclair ‘s message is every bit clear as glass ; that “ Life, Liberty, and the chase of felicity ” – the footing of the American dream, did nil for the calls of the underpaid and overworked proletarian category.

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