Theme Of The Jungle Essay

1234 words - 5 pages

In the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair; this was first published by Fine Creative Media Inc. in 1906 (edition I read was published in 2003) it discuses life as an immigrant and how immigrants foresaw the American dream and how they tired to achieve it. There where many themes for the book. The theme that I took was most important was that life on the other side is not always better then what one has. This theme can be shown many different ways throughout the book. It is shown through the plot and through many examples of event that occurred though the book.

In The Jungle a young man named Jurgis Rudkus moves to the United States landing in Chicago, with his family looking for a better life then what they had in Lithuania. They arrived in Chicago in the middle of where the meat packing industry was located. Landing here was going to provide them with jobs so they could pay rent for a place to stay for the whole family and to purchase food to eat. Once Jurgis gets a job working in the meat packaging plant is when the family realizes that America no better then Lithuania. America had poor people and people are killing each other just to survive. The workers where poorly paid, overworked and had unfair labor practice as well as dangerous working environment. In order for them to get a place to stay all where required to work, this even meant Jurgis father who was sick.

The family is finally able to buy a house. When doing this Elizbieta, Ona's stepmother, feels uneasy almost like they are being taken advantage of. To purchase a house during this time all one needed was $300 down and then $15 a month until the house was paid off. What Elizbieta and the family where not aware of was that the $15 a month didn't include the extra $7 a month for interest putting the total monthly payment at $22 a month. This they felt that could not afford but they wanted there own home they didn't want to go back to the rat infested house that was by the meat packing plant.

As the story goes on Ona and her baby Antanas both die. Ona during child birth and Antanas will drowned in front of the house. Jurgis will then move out of the city to the suburbs leave all of his family behind. Later returning to Chicago and getting himself into a lot of trouble with the law. After some time of being in and out of jail Jurgis finally gets a job working at a hotel. He will become back in touch with his family that he left and begin to support them on what he makes by working at the hotel.

As I read the book I felt more and more sorry for Jurgis and his family. The struggles and hardships that they went though as well as what other immigrants where going through at the time. I feel that people during this time where treated very unfairly and when it came to the meat packing companies I think that the cows pigs had a better life. This is because the animals where fed every day no matter what because the people that wanted to sell them needed...

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