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Of Nickel And Dimed: On Getting By In America By Barbara Ehrenreich

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Melanie Castellanos Daniels ENGL 3 - B5 26 August 2014 Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America: Merit of Experiences Although much criticism revolves around Barbara Ehrenreich’s experiences as a minimum wage worker, it can be widely recognized by various critics that she deserves credit for at least attempting to understand the lower class, considering her privilege as a white, wealthy, middle-aged woman. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is a novel regarding minimum wage workers and a single woman’s experience jumping into the lower class; the overall theme of the book is that even the lowest class deserve more credit for their hard work, long hours, and demeaning lifestyles. Overall, Ehrenreich is praised for her bravery to dive into a minimum wage lifestyle. Although at first it seems demeaning for such a wealthy and …show more content…

Ehrenreich learns and also hopes to teach her audience, which is anyone who has not experienced a low wage job or does not believe that low paying jobs are very difficult, that all the successors should credit the hardest workers at the bottom of the ladder. She calls “the 'working poor' [...] the major philanthropists of our society [because] they neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high” (120). Ehrenreich simply aims for the privileged audience to understand why they are living such comfortable lives and where all of it comes from. Also, the author implies that the upper class is perfectly kept in balance by the lower class, and that it is owed to the single mothers, poor parents, and uneducated hard workers for others’

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