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1067 words - 5 pages

Capitalism vs. Socialism during the 1920’s |
Diamond Jackson |
History II Dr. Hilton |


Upton Sinclairs’ The Jungle is a common form of muckraking during the 20’s. The book is about a Lithuanian family who relocated to the US in hopes of finding success and building better lives. After hearing the story of how America supports the idea of freedom, and has unlimited opportunity, the main character Jurgis is convinced America was the place to be. Once arriving to America and coming in contact with the reality of the myth of his ideal society, Jurgis exposes the deeply rooted capitalism and the effects and problems that it causes. Because of this, Sinclair feels ...view middle of the document...

Upon moving to the crowded streets of Chicago, he describes a walk around the neighborhood, “the gullies and ditches were filled with stinking green water… In which the children played” (Ch. 2). Another capitalistic feature is clear in the real estate scheme involving a house they seen through advertisement. To begin, the real-estate agent false advertised the house and told Jurgis and Ona the house was "brand new". On top of that, "he talked so incessantly that they were quite confused". (Ch. 4) Because of them not knowing how to look for more houses and not having a way of finding out about houses, Jurgis ends up signing a "8year, 4 month rental" contract (Ch. 4). Sinclair later describes the meat packing house in ways that would even make a person with a strong stomach want to vomit. He describes the factory by saying, cattle from many states were brought inside, broken legged, gored sides, and even dead ones were brought inside and "carefully scattered [with good meat] so that they could not be identified" (Ch. 6) Even though the business owners manipulated their employees, at the end of the day the employees’ mission was initially to find a job and take care of their family. Most people found jobs, but the standards and quality of the job were risky, filthy, and the wages at which they were being paid were absurd. Capitalism has a bigger role economically and socially than Capitalist believers might want to consider. The social conditions of the people in city, the work environment of employees, and the impact capitalism had on real-estate all led up to his belief that socialism was best for America.
Carnegie proves his support of the idea that Capitalism and the unequal distribution of wealth by stating, “The contrast between the palace of the millionaire and the cottage of the laborer… is not to be deplored, but welcomed as highly beneficial” (Pg. 1) Carnegie believes it is natural, and should not be changed. He makes it evident by stating that this change (gap between rich and poor) whether it be good or ill it is upon us, beyond our power to alter, and, therefore, to be accepted and made the best of.” Carnegie even says “It is a waste of time to criticize the inevitable.”(Pg. 2)Carnegie believes that...

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