The American Dream in the Jungle Essay

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Pages: 9

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…
Soon after Ona becomes terribly ill with a cough similar to the one that killed Dede Antana, she also becomes pregnant and not long after dies when giving birth. "They were beaten; they had lost the game, they were swept aside. It was not less tragic because it was so sordid, because that it had to do with wages and grocery bills and rents. They had dreamed of freedom; of a chance to look about them and learn something; to be decent and clean, to see their child group up to be strong. And now it was all gone-it would never be!" (Sinclair 163) Jurgis and his family have failed in the attempt to pursue the American dream because the wage slavery and unfair labor practices shatters every aspect of their lives. Not only does the unhealthy labor causes the family physical pain but also mental pain. For example Stanislovas, one of Elzbieta's children witnesses a little boy with severe frostbite to his ears that fall off when a man rubs them strongly to try to save them. After that, Stanislovas develops a phobia of the cold winter and throws a fit before work each day. He doesn’t want to go out in the cold with the fear that his ears are going to fall off. Also seeing how the food is processed becomes a sort of trauma for the characters. Sinclair uses symbolism to show how the torture of the pigs and the meat is symbolic of the middle class. Workers get chewed up just like