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When immigrating to America the idea which occurred in my mind was excitement since I can eventually achieve the American Dream that I has long been told. America where everyone is given opportunities to be successful despite their culture, social class or ethnic. Regarding “the Jungle” by Upton Sinclair in which Jurgis is a model of immigrants who want to achieve the American Dream through working hard and determination. Although there are difficult times for Jurgis and will be for me as well, I believe that the immigration to America really change the way I approach the world with cultural diversity and advanced academic institution. I think these factors will help me succeed in life.
The first thing appeared in my mind that I was curious about everything since I was immigrating into the most powerful country in the world. I came to America to pursuit my major as technology because America is one of the fastest technological development countries. I really hope that I can succeed in this promise land as I always heard of “the American dream”. I have already known that there will be many obstacles like communication, culture shock and education. Particularly studying was quite difficult for me because English is my second language so when it comes to reading, not only I have to understand the concept of the passage and meaning of new words but also the exact definition of the word in a particular context since some words have various meanings. I often struggle with writing essay when I have to write a variety of sentence structure and correct grammar is required. In addition to my language barrier when my family immigrant to the US I saw people talking really fast so sometimes I could not catch up with the flow while communicating. An example of this is my aunt is over fifty years old and she only knew basic English communication, so she can only find jobs with low payment like 8 dollars per hour. Aside from working, my aunt has to cook for her husband and do the housework since her husband got the nightshift for more money so there are not enough time to improve her English skills. Thus, it is tough for people at that age to establish a fresh start in this new land with language difficulties and cultural differences.
In comparison with Jurgis, he believed that he could succeed in America and his family will be able to settle a new comfort life here since the earning is much higher than his country – Lithuania. He also has trouble with lacking knowledge of English and not having much money, so he must accept whatever jobs he can find even at a very low wage. In order to improve his English Jurgis had to take night class and have the children taught him so that he could find better jobs. I think that it is harder for immigrants at old age and returning students to study than young adults since it requires effort and determination due to burdens like family, work and now academic.
In “the Jungle”, when Jurgis first came to America he determined that through hard work he can provide shelter and food for his family. However, he was struck down little by little due to poor working conditions and the rotten society that occurred immorality and inequality in labor system. For example, in the novel stated that during Ona’s maternity leave she did not receive pay work and must returned to work shortly after giving birth which damaged her health badly, Jurgis got cut off his pay work when he was injured. As opposed to the law has been modified today, law system in the past has not completed yet, it had many flaws including corruption, unsafe and unsanitary of the meatpacking industry is overlooked by the government. Nowadays, due to the Labor Act workers do not suffer poor working condition anymore and are protected by law including injury insurance, holiday and illness rights, maternity leave is also established.
Personally, I believe that the achievement of the American Dream is a reality yet a hard and cruel reality which requires people to put time and effort into it or even make some sacrifices so as to pursuit that reality. America is a promise land that gives people opportunities to fulfill their dreams whether they are prosperity, family or anything else as long as they have faith in themselves, people will achieve their goals.
In conclusion, America is a land of hope and dreams since there already many people who has reached their ambition while others said that there are many obstacles that keep pulling them far away from their goals mostly about money. Similar to Jurgis when he believed that he can make a better life for his family by coming to America and working hard despite failing several times because of the cruel labor system, rotten society and the death of his wife and son but eventually he regained hope through his remain family. As far as I am concerned to achieve the American Dream people need to believe in themselves first that they will able to do it and as long as people try their best they will not be regretted.
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