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The American Dream in the Jungle

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The American Dream in the Jungle
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 as they encounter a land of moral corruption, crime, exploitation and a life of depression and unhealthy daily labor that brings them physical and mental pain. Sinclair clearly shows that the American Dream is simply an illusion. The title of the book “The Jungle” creates an atmosphere of predators and prey like survival of the fittest. The predators being the criminals and the prey being the Rudkus family. The title of the book symbolizes how the lower class represented by the Rudkus family is being exploited or attacked by the capitalist society and how the country is turned into a jungle .Sinclair uses similes and metaphors to demonstrate the comparison between animals of the jungle and the people . For example in chapter 15, when Jurgis finds out that Connor “the great beast” rapes Ona, Jurgis “eyes were wild and his hair flying, and he was breathing hoarsely like a wounded bull”. Jurgis "sprang" into a room to find Connor, "his prey," and “sunk his teeth into the man’s cheek, and when they tore him away he was dripping whit blood, and the little ribbons of skin where hanging in his mouth” (Sinclair 162). Such imagery is portrayed through out the novel. Exploitation is foreshowed at the beginning of the story when


Cited: Page Upton Sinclair. The Jungle New York: Bantam Classic edition, 1906

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