| Quote #10
It would be pleasant to record that [Jurgis] swore off drinking immediately, and all the rest of his bad habits with it; but that would hardly be exact. These revolutionists were not angels; they were men, and men who had come up from the social pit, and with the mire of it smeared over them. Some of them drank, and some of them swore, and some of them ate pie with their knives; there was only one difference between them and all the rest of the populace—that they were men with a hope, with a cause to fight for and suffer for. There came times to Jurgis when the vision seemed far-off and pale, and a glass of beer loomed large in comparison; but if the glass led to another glass, and to too many glasses, he had something to spur him to remorse and resolution on the morrow. (30.23)
Here is the proof that socialism does not immediately solve poverty or its associated social problems. Jurgis doesn't stop being an alcoholic because he is a socialist. He also doesn't stop being poor (though he does have more secure employment) because he is a socialist. socialism helps Jurgis withstand his tragic, difficult existence. Then again, how is socialism different from religion and tradition, both of which Sinclair criticizes for making the poor too complacent with their miserable lives?