This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Nickel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America Book Report

2190 words - 9 pages

Nickel and Dimed both entertained and disturbed me, with much more on the latter. In this book, the author deliberately places herself in the position of the working poor, taking jobs that aren't fit for a slave to earn money not fit for anyone over the age of 12. The best way to find out what a certain life would be like is to walk in the shoes of one who lives it. She temporarily altered her entire life, so that she could work the jobs, live in the accommodations, and eat the food, or lack thereof, of one who would clearly live below the poverty line.Although there were obvious differences between her and one who really does live this life, with no way out, the situations she placed herself in gave at least a taste of what life is like for a significant percentage of the American work force. I can forgive any non- scientific analysis Ms. Ehrenreich made of the various situations she became involved with. She did, after all, confess to this in various forms right from the beginning.What struck home the hardest is that here, in the United States of America, the "land of the free", an unacceptably large percentage of people live below the poverty line. Even for those who may live above it, there is still poverty, even if the federal government doesn't acknowledge it. For all of these people, the wages that they earn are insufficient to obtain life's basic necessities. Everything costs money, your shelter so you can rest and go to your job, your clothes so you can go to your job, your food so that you can survive to go to your job, to earn the money needed to pay for your clothes, your shelter, and buy your food, so that you can go to your job.The madness goes on. I haven't even mentioned the costs of the car yet. This is the infernal machine that so often needed to go to your job, so that you can earn money, to pay for your car, your food, etc. The costs that go into this car include gas, insurance, maintenance, etc. I don't actually remember the author mentioning these details about the cost of the automobile, except for the cost of time and energy, both emotional and physical, in commuting to work. If I am mistaken about this, I apologize to Ms. Ehrenreich.Thus, the title, Nickel and Dimed is appropriate. This is especially true when you add in so many of life's other, often unmentioned necessities. The author states just how something as simple as cooking utensils or needed medication can be out of the price range of the working poor. It puts in perspective what most of us take for granted. To extrapolate on this, one could conceivably cut a finger, not find a band aid, then go out to the store to buy the cheapest package of bandages available, which may cost a few dollars, and have to sacrifice an entire meal to pay for it. There are many critics out there who would say "bah" at the plight of the working poor. They often say things like "If they really had a mind to solve their problems, they would find a way." Sure, I suppose one could come...

Find Another Essay On Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Book Report

Nickel and Dimed! The book on how to get by in AMerica while making no more than $8/hour

1644 words - 7 pages opinion I formed by reading Nickel and Dimed was not strong neither way perhaps because I myself had an experience as a low-wage worker, as a "poor student" (that's how I like to call myself sometimes), which of course is very different from being one for the rest of my life. Before getting into the negative aspects of this book I would like to take a look at some positive ones, that are also present and it would be shameful not to identify with

Book Review of Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

1048 words - 4 pages her affluent childhood and preceded her eventual business success, MacDougall relates, "Poverty is relative, and the lack of food and of the necessities of life is not necessarily a hardship. Spiritual and social ostracism, the invasion of your privacy, are what constitute the pain of poverty."Barbara Ehrenreich aptly, though misguidedly, expounds upon this ideological construct in her book Nickel and Dimed. However, in her effort to transcend

Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich: A look at Social Immobility in America

1018 words - 4 pages capitalist society, when in fact that same system is keeping them down.Placement in our current economic system is a very important factor that determines life chances. It is said that we live in a class system, where status is achieved, but the book Nickel and Dimed attempts to display our society as a caste system, where status is ascribed to individuals. Barbara Ehrenreich displays that there are many avenues in life that are simply not open to the

"Nickel and Dimed" Grade: 95% This is a response paper to the book "Nickel and Dimed" Writtne in 1st person. Uses details from the book, and examples. Also uses real life examples

1260 words - 5 pages Nickel and DimedAfter reading the book Nickel and Dimed I have come to realize how much work low wage workers actually do. I have worked in a fast food restaurant only once and it was hard work but I did not get a major feel for the field because I was not there for very long. Barbara Ehrenreich did a good job as far as showing people, or telling people how it is to work in the low wage field but it was hard for me to get a real perception of

In the book, Kindred, Octavia Butler shows that the fear of running away and the consequences of getting caught were reasons to stay in slavery and not rebel

636 words - 3 pages After learning about how badly slaves were treated in the ante bellum south, many people wonder as to why more slaves didn't run away or rebel. In the book, Kindred, Octavia Butler shows that the fear of running away and the consequences of getting caught were reasons to stay in slavery and not rebel.The fear of the possible effects prevented many slaves from attempting to run away. When the main character, Dana was planning to run away to meet

Thoughts on "Nickel and Dimed" By Barbara Eihrenreich

563 words - 2 pages earner to learn first-hand the strategies to survive on minimum wage. She vividly describes with persistence and humor how difficult it is to survive on the wages of the lowest paid workers. Her book examines the sobering realities many American workers routinely face just trying to earn a living.What if Barbara Ehrenreich was an immigrant? In this case there would be some major factors that could have affected her. First - whether or not she

Nickel And Dimed: Occupations by Barbara Ehrenreich

2222 words - 9 pages High-quality writer and columnist Barbara Ehrenreich presented a free community address on Thursday, February 13, at 4 p.m. in Kresge Town Hall on the UC Santa Cruz university grounds. Ehrenreich addressed themes raised in her current best-selling book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. She is the foremost illustrious sightseer to be sponsored by the new Institute for Advanced Feminist Research at UCSC. Ehrenreich has been a

"Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich

828 words - 3 pages Eye Opening (If You've Been Living in a Hole)NICKEL AND DIMED: ON (NOT) GETTING BY IN AMERICABy Barbara EhrenreichHenry Holt And Company, 230 pp., $13 (paperback)The back cover and the last chapter's 25-page evaluation are the most gripping parts of this memoir, which without a doubt originated as an attention-grabbing idea but turned out to be an obvious, repetitive, and unrealistic account of American blue-collar life. Barbara Ehrenreich sets

Nickel and Dimed by Barbra Ehrenreich

1952 words - 8 pages Nickel and Dimed, by Barbra Ehrenreich, depicts the truth about low-income living in the United States. But rather than just writing about it, she actually did it. She chose various places across the country to conduct her observation and participation. She did what very few people would have had the courage to do. Hopefully, her book will change the way people look at low-wage work and possibly even change, for the better, the way low-income

Nickel and Dimed

1690 words - 7 pages In Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich tells a powerful and gritty story of daily survival. Her tale transcends the gap that exists between rich and poor and relays a powerful accounting of the dark corners that lie somewhere beyond the popular portrayal of American prosperity. Throughout this book the reader will be intimately introduced to the world of the “working poor”, a place unfamiliar to the vast

Nickel and Dimed

976 words - 4 pages Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Enrenreich, is a novel written about her experiences while living and working among the common poor folk of America. Her adventures bring her from a restaurant in Ohio to the coasts of Maine to a Wal-Mart in Minnesota. Although her living and working locations change, one thing stays constant about Barbara her humorous and witty remarks. These remarks keep the reader entertained. Although her wisecracks are clever

Similar Essays

Nickel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America, By Barbara Ehrenreich

790 words - 3 pages In her book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2001), Barbara Ehrenreich performs a social experiment in which she transplants herself from her comfortable middle-class life and immersing herself in the plight of the “millions of American’s (who) work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages” (Ehrenreich, 2001). Her goal was to explore the consequences of the welfare reform on the approximately four million women who would

Nickel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America, By Barbara Ehrenreich

1331 words - 6 pages The author Barbara Ehrenreich is a journalist, who decided to write an article on how it was to live on minimum wage. She stopped her life and began a series of trips across country to gain information for her article, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Barbara Ehrenreich, started her socioeconomic experiment in Key West, Florida. Her initial effort is to secure a place to live and a job that will support her. In the beginning

Analysis Of Nickel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America By Barbara Ehrenreich

2905 words - 12 pages , in an obvious attempt to make up for my overbearing mother) and even found out their names (Marisol, Zara, and... another woman whose name I cannot remember right now). Maybe I was subconsciously making snap judgments by thinking they were poor, and that’s why I was so nice to them, though I’d like to think not. I guess that just goes to show how stereotypes work on our minds – you either believe in them (like my mother), or inadvertently call

A Book Report On Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich

1067 words - 4 pages and Dimed, is if anything thought provoking. The book will make one think of welfare reform in a different light. It would shed light on the fact the some poor people are legitimately trying to make an honest living and still finding it to be extremely difficult. It may even help some conservative minded politicians and citizens alike, to rethink the "Get a job" attitude they so often dish out on the poor. People often do not realize what it is