Life of an Immigrant

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The Life of an Immigrant
Katie Purpura

During the time, of the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the First World War it was described as “the war between capital and labor”. It was filled with bloody violence and extensive property damage, a situation that continued well into the 20th century. The Jungle focuses on the life and times of recent immigrants to the United States from Eastern Europe. Upton Sinclair wrote his book “The Jungle” not only to speak for "the workingmen of America," the people to who he dedicated the book. Sinclair wrote the book in order to question the American capitalist system, and his intensions were to improve the lives of the workers and immigrants who suffered under capitalism by showing them what he considered to be the better path of socialism. Modern immigrant workers in the southwestern states are assigned to work in agricultural fields, or as common laborers on construction sites. They are expected to work long hours, and are often paid “under the table” in cash so that their employers can pay much lower than minimum wages. Many thought they had immigrated with great expectations, but had sadly come up short.

The immigrant living conditions during these times were varied among cheap housing and they found it usually near their work place to make it easier for the families. These environments were highly unsanitary; places such as these were located by city dumps were all kinds of materials were disposed of. It was the immigrant’s job, mainly the children and mothers to seek out anything that could be used or recycled or sometimes even eaten at these places. Eastern Europeans were usually unskilled and need the industry to teach them therefore have consequences. They were exploited by their landlords by having to pay more for the worse apartments. They weren’t aware of having any rights and didn’t know the language and couldn’t utilize or help their cause and took the abuse instead. This led...
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