The Lessons Learned From The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

In the novel, The Jungle, written by Upton Sinclair, he described how immigrants lived in the early twentieth century. He wrote the novel to bring awareness of how bad immigrants were treated in America. Sinclair wrote about the harsh conditions of how they lived and the ways they had to earn money. Immigrants can learn different lessons from other immigrants that came before them. The lessons that can be learned will help others and improve their inequality of their social status to further their improvement of life. A couple of lessons learned through the eyes of new immigrants from The Jungle can be: working past the hard times, manipulated into doing something they do not understand, being conservative and smart with what you obtain. The jungle exploits a vast majority of obstacles that had to be overcome in order to seek a life of self betterment. Jurgis and Ona obtained enough money for them to get married but their acquaintances who came left them in debt of over a hundred dollars. The day after their wedding Ona was very exhausted. Ona knew if she did not make it to work on time she would lose her place and they would surely suffer.

The work immigrants have to go through to take care of their family is harsh which sometimes comes with injury. Jurgis hurt his ankle while working and more than likely would not be able to work for a month. The family was scarce on food from just small injury and did everything they could to feed the family. Jurgis having gone through a lot of shortcomings grew weaker and weaker as he never stopped looking for work after his many failures. He landed a job but was let off because he was not strong enough. He then does whatever he can to keep from starving; he even steals a cabbage. As an immigrant, manipulation by higher authorities is commonly used against them. Antanas is deceived into receiving only one-third of his earnings for a job, thus by giving up two thirds to the man who offered the job to him. The Knight watchman helped Jurgis get a citizenship and when he was registered the man told him who to vote for and payed him in doing so. Jurgis did as the man said because he did not know that was not the proper way to vote. Also, another form of manipulation would be when Ona was rapped by Conner. He said he would let her go if she did not do what he said, he also would pay her for these heinous acts.

A major lesson that can be learned is being smart and conservative with what you earn. Jurgis would go out and make money and he would spend it on alcohol along with other unnecessary things. Doing this would also result in Jurgis being broke, unemployed and a beggar. This became Jurgis’ lifestyle and being an immigrant made it even more difficult because Jurgis and his family had no other relatives to bounce back and rely on. The competition wage system was that the workers relied on a job and they bid against each other, the people were always in a life or death struggle with poverty. Saving just a little bit of what you earn is hard but also important. The lessons talked about from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair are only a few that can be learned in life. The hard times that the immigrants go through are harsh and crucial to their living situations, their perseverance is something that can be left behind for other immigrants to learn from. The way that immigrants are manipulated to do things without understanding fully is a very common thing and something to be aware of. A very smart way to live as a immigrant can be conservation of the money that is earned and not wasting it on things that do not benefit the family. The Jungle shows many different lessons and gives the people an insight on the sorrowful lives of how immigrants lived and are treated.

Works Cited

  1. Sinclair, Upton. “The Jungle.” Dover Publications, inc., 2001


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