Nickel And Dimed Analysis

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The Reality of the Sense of Space In Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich takes a hands-on experimental approach in an attempt to immerse herself in the life of someone who lives on minimum wage. Although this is an experiment, Ehrenreich fully submerges herself in a lifestyle that she is not accustomed to. She remains open and honest to her readers, unveiling the difficulties of everyday life and the struggle to simply “make ends meet” in a world where prices are rising, but minimum wage remains stagnant. In relation to Ehrenreich’s experiences, a comparison can be made with Doreen Massey’s ideas of the degree of “mobility that influences the sense we have of space and place” (Massey p. 258). With Ehrenreich’s limited amount of resources, the world seems to be larger, as making her way around becomes more difficult. Throughout her journey, Ehrenreich argues that individuals working at a low wage experience the struggles of living in poverty, the degradation associated with these jobs, and intensive and physically demanding jobs. One of Ehrenreich’s most prevalent arguments is the reality that living on minimum wages is nearly impossible. Without savings, she tells how she is unable to afford an apartment because she has no money for a down payment. This requires her to live in a more expensive motel where she is also forced to buy unhealthy fast foods because she does not have a kitchen to cook in. This is all more of an expensive lifestyle than she can
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