Industrialization and The Jungle

Industrialization and The Jungle

Immigration in America came as a result of the industrialization of the United States. The American business class needed a larger working class to perform the extra labor the country now needed to have done in order to have a strong economic system, especially with the construction of railroads. Between the 1860’s and 1890’s ten million immigrants had come to the United States. It wasn’t very difficult for American companies to attract immigrants, they advertised the “American Dream” to the people of Europe and Asia. Once one person from a community did well in America, word spread throughout their homeland and many more would come. The problem with this is that too many people had come to America and there would soon be a shortage of jobs and the corruption of the business owners towards the immigrants. The Jungle goes into the overpopulation of small cities and the exploitation of immigrants, in particular Jurgis and his family from Lithuania. Sinclair had a cynical view of industrialization, The Jungle portrays the American Industrialization at its worst. He shows the working conditions and corruption, in particular the meat packing industry, as they actually were in the late 1800’s. Sinclair showed the terrible working conditions that Jurgis, his family and all the other immigrant workers had to endure. He shows how the American employers, and others, took advantage of immigrants who weren’t well educated, knew little English, or just had no other alternative but to agree to the terms of the higher class. Most immigrants were paid next to nothing by their employers, which made just about every member of the family go out and get a job. Jurgis did not let Ona, Teta Elzbieta or the kids work, Jurgis wanted the children to get an education so they didn’t have to work in the stockyard their whole lives like he will have to. The upper class would do almost anything to stay in the upper class, such as ripping off anyone…


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