Sample Essay

Sinclair had described the intensity of harm that capitalism can do to a society through the depiction of his characters. His characters involve a family setting comprising of a couple and a stepmother of the bride. The head of the family Jurgis is the protagonist of the novel, though the other characters in the novel play important role in describing and evaluating the view of author regarding capitalism and socialism (Sinclair 4).

The family migrates to Chicago from the Lithuania because Jurgis had strong faith in attaining a better living standard in the new place (Sinclair 6). The protagonist had been depicted that he would be able to establish a better living in the American system but sooner he gets to know that whatever he had dream is never going to happen because of the stern business and economical background of Chicago. Jurgis stays with his family in the centre of the meatpacking industries namely Packing Town. Jurgis and his wife Ona discover within few days of their immigration that settling in the entirely new place is going to be complicated for them. Packing Town was a filthy place where no one could attain a healthy living especially with children (Sinclair 15).

The beginning of his employment in Chicago was the meat packing job in which he had to do work in the filthy area and he was given low wage for his work. Moreover, the workers were treated very badly as if they were bought by factory owners and they were given no rights.  It was just the beginning of the family problems. Due to the low wages it was complicated for immigrant families like Jurgis’s to grow prosperously in the American setting of capitalism (Sinclair 23).

The novel had successfully described how the people in the capitalism would live. The author had highlighted hardship which the poor belonging to labor class had to face through his depiction of the lives of Jurgis and his family. The author did not attempt to elaborate the system of capitalism and how it is being implemented but concentrated on elaborating the effects of capitalism in his book in detail with the help of bringing the characters to life in Chicago’s setting of capitalism.

Sinclair described that the capitalism pushed the family to transform to corrupted characters in order to run their lives. As in the first 27 chapters of the book, the family undergoes mighty changes that they never ever thought of. The head of the family Jurgis gets arrested and then he is jailed. His wife is also forced to sleep with his boss because of the adverse situation of the family to get the food as Jurgis was jailed and there were no other means of food for them. Such change in living and ethical remarks projected that poor living was the outcome of capitalism (Nash, Jeffrey and Howe).

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