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How Real Is The American Dream?

734 words - 3 pages

“So America was a place of which lovers and young people dreamed. If one could only manage to get the price of a passage, he could count his troubles at an end” (18). The account of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian-American immigrant, conveys the struggles, optimisms, and despairs associated with the American dream. Hoping to make a name for himself in the “land of the free,” Jurgis soon finds himself in a situation no better than paid slavery, under the master known as capitalism. Throughout The Jungle (1906), realistic writer Upton Sinclair conveys the theme that the true reality of the American dream differs greatly from its gilded cover.
Upon arriving in America, the Rudkus family is in awe ...view middle of the document...

As time goes on, Jurgis realizes that the American dream has a cover for the fallacies inside itself. While each proletariat tries to earn as much money as he can, the rich capitalists alienate workers by not allowing them to rise. “A very few days …had been sufficient to make clear … that in it the poor man was almost as poor as in any other corner of the earth” (22). The workers realize that no matter where they are in the world, they will be deprecated, used, and thrown out as many times as the capitalists need. These same capitalists also make a prodigious deal of money off of the immigrants’ “great” housing deal. In a conversation with neighbors, the family finds this situation out. “‘They trick you and eat you alive. …Get your deed, and see.’ ‘That means,’ replied the other, ‘that you have to pay them seven dollars next month, as well as the twelve dollars.’” (59). Through a seemingly fair opportunity resembling the American dream, it is found that one group can still take advantage of the another without the exploited even realizing...

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