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Industrialization and the Gilded Age - Essay Example

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Summary
The Jungle presents a story of poverty, exploitation of labor, and unfavorable working conditions that are often experienced by the working class during the Gilded Age. Moreover, the story centers on the effects of the Gilded Age on the economic and political system of America…
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Industrialization and the Gilded Age
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Industrialization and the Gilded Age

Download file to see previous pages... This idea is expressed in the life of Jurgis, and the lives of his family as characterized with constant work, not to live but only to survive. They signify the ones in the working class who are confronted with issues concerning unequal opportunities and labor exploitation.
As mentioned by Wasowski, The Jungle serves as Sinclair’s commentary against Industrialization and Capitalism (n.pag.). In the story, the growth of public and private owned businesses creates a gap between employers and employees. The Gilded Age, the period after the Civil War and before the start of World War 1, drives economic and political change. For instance, as the Civil War had made the government more concerned about the people, the American government implemented the tenets of democracy more firmly during the previous years. Additionally, as America had already settled its internal political and civil conflicts, it took concern on economic expansion.
The economic expansion in America during the Gilded Age created the working class, widened the gap between workers and employers, and spurred the development of American industrialization. In The Jungle, Sinclair establishes that the Gilded Age is the cause of the unfavorable working condition and unequal opportunities of the working class. Additionally, Sinclair implies that Industrialization and Capitalism can potentially deteriorate the basic American values (equality, independence, democracy). The Gilded Age contributes to the shift in ideals from cooperative alliance to competition among workers. Thus, Sinclair describes the working class in Packington as “low class and mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation, and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old-time slave drivers” (116-117). Although slavery is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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