The novel was published during the time of industrialization. The United States, a country shaped by agriculture in the 19th century, became an industrialized nation in the late 1800s. Moreover, "an unprecedented influx of immigrants contributed to a boom in population," created bigger cities and a new consumer society. By these developments, progress was linked with poverty, illustrating that the majority of the US population was sceptical about the dependency on the fluctuation of global economy.
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