During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s hundreds of thousands ofEuropean immigrants migrated to the United States of America. They hadaspirations of success, prosperity and their own conception of the AmericanDream. The majority of the immigrants believed that their lives wouldcompletely change for the better and the new world would bring nothing buthappiness.
Advertisements that appeared in Europe offered a bright futureand economic stability to these naive and hopeful people. Jobs withexcellent wages and working conditions, prime safety, and other benefitsseemed like a chance in a lifetime to these struggling foreigners. Littledid these people know that what they would confront would be the completeantithesis of what they dreamed of. The enormous rush of European immigrants encountered a lack ofjobs. Those who were lucky enough to find employment wound up infactories, steel mills, or in the meat packing industry.
Jurgis Rudkus wasone fo these dissapointed immigrants. A sweeper in slaughter house, heexperienced the horrendous conditions which laborers encounteredAlongwith these nightmarish working conditions, they worked for nominal wages,inflexible and long hours, in an atmosphere where worker safety had nopersuasion. Early on, there was no one for these immigrants to turn to, somany suffered immensely. Jurgis would later learn of worker unions andother groups to support the labor force, but the early years of hisAmericanized life were filled, with sliced fingers, unemployment andoverall a depressing and painful “new start”. Sinclair, has shown in a dramatic style the hardships andobastacles which Jurgis and fellow workers had to endure.
He made theworkers sound so helpless and the condtions so greusome, that the readeralmost wants a way out for Jurgis. Sinclair’s The Jungle is a “subliminal”form of propaganda for Socialism. At a time in our nations history wherethe rich were very wealthy, and the poor were peniless, Sinclair’sportrayal of socialism in regards to the laborer is very appealing to ajobless, hungry, indigent man. Sinclair’s vision of socialism, wasn’t as flawless and beneficialas it seemed.
Although it gave the workers some motivation to work as wellas the could it was an attempt to commonize the working class. The Marxisttheory of communism stemmed from the ideologies displayed by socialism. The masses of the population were controlled by a small elite. Sinclairwas a believer in socialism, and Jurgis was a member of the party. Butfortunately for today’s working force, the concept and potential threat ofsocialism was stifled before it could make a permanent mark of Americansociety.————————————————————–