The Jungle1

Commentary In the “Gilded Age” immigrants from all over the world became part of America’s working nation in hopes of finding a new and better life for themselves and their families. As more and more new families moved to America with high hopes, more and more people fell victims to the organized society, politics, and institutions better described as, the system. The system was like a jungle, implying that only the strong survived and the weak perished. Bosses always picked the biggest and strongest from a throng of people desperate for work, and if you were big and strong, you were more likely to get the job then if you were small and weak. Packing town was also a Jungle in the sense that the people with more authority or political power acted as predators and preyed on the working people, taking their money unfairly because of the their lack of knowledge on the pitfalls of the New World and their inability to speak and understand the universal language adequately. The unjust and corrupt system kept workers from speaking out when they felt they had been wronged and punished them when they did. As a result of the system, men women and even children were overworked, underpaid and taken advantage of. Working immigrants weren’t any better off in American then they were in their homeland, as they soon discovered. Dreams that any people had of America were washed away by the corrupt ways of the system. In the book The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, the Rudkus family continually found themselves prey to the system. After Ona found a job, to keep it, she was expected to do things that she didn’t want to, such as earning money in a prostitution ring for her “forelady”. Ona, being a faithful wife, didn’t want any part in the prostitution chain and was reluctant to be a part of it, but a job was no easy thing to find or keep in Packingtown. So Ona joined the chain, for her family’s sake. As if being a prostitute on her spare ti…

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