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Accelerated Evolution

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Hay guys, I know that this is rather short notice but if you can give me some help revising this essay it would be very much appreciated, but the thing is that it is due tomorrow. Im going to bed now and am going to try to revise it tomorrow morning, any suggestions between now and then would be very much appreciated…

The essay is on the jungle by upton Sinclair, the question was “was it possible for jurgis to achieve the American dream?”

In 1882 over 2,100 new immigrants a day entered the United States from Europe, Sinclair would have you believe that every one of them was helplessly destitute and unable to do anything to change it. The fact was that that was simply untrue. Other immigrants had been able to pull themselves up from nothing. The freedom of America along with the ability to unionize allowed for more social mobility. It was entirely possible for Jurgis, and for any other immigrant, to achieve the American dream.

Although Jurgis failed to achieve financial success, that does not mean that it was at all impossible. Proof of social mobility can be found in the second chapter in the jungle. Jokubas Szedvilas, Jonas’ friend that had made his fortune in America, was the reason that the family when to Chicago to begin with. He was proof that a Lithuania immigrant, from that time period, could make a good living for himself and live the American dream in Chicago. It was not just fictional characters that were capable of changing their social stations in American society. Andrew Carnegie came to America with his impoverished parents in 1848. He got a job as a bobbin boy working for $1.20 per week. From there he quickly climbed the later of success, to the point were by 1900 he was producing one-fourth of the United States’ steel, earning $25 million a year. If that is not absolute proof of the social mobility associated with the American dream that I do not know what is!

The American dream is about more than simply becoming wealthy, it is also the freedom that is associated with America. To quote The Jungle, “In that country, rich or poor, a man was free, … he did not have to go into the army, he did not have to pay out his money to rascally officials—he might do as he pleased, and count himself as good as any other man.”(page 22) Eastern Europe at this time was a place were forced military conscription, or institutionalized religious persecution. Russian Jews, mainly in polish areas, were violently turned on. Many of these refugees pored into New York to escape the government discrimination of the old world. In America these new immigrants had the ability to question the government, with out fear of being arrested, they would join labor unions with out fear of government retribution. They could even become citizens and vote in election, something new most of them, for any person or political party they wonted. Jurgis demonstrates this fact by joining the socialist party and a labor union.

“Life was a struggle for existence, and the strong overcame the weak, and in turn were overcome by the strongest. Those who lost in the struggle were generally exterminated; but now and then they had been known to save themselves by combination—which was a new and higher kind of strength”(page 326) were the ideas expressed by a socialist character in The Jungle. The idea that workers can bind together to form unions is fundamental part of the American dream. By 1872 there were 32 national unions that could boast a combined membership of several hundred thousand. These unions allowed people to get better wages and working conditions, and in doing so, help them achieve the American dream.

The American dream is the idea that you can make, rise in social status, and that you can have the freedoms associated with America. Something that other immigrants were able to do, soothing that organized labor helped achieve, and the freedom given to those in the united stated all made it possible to attain the American dream

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