Nickel And Dimed: The Downtrodden And The Ignored

1041 words - 5 pages

America’s lower class is omnipresent. Waiters, taxi drivers, maids, and cooks are all examples of people who likely make minimum wage or close to it. Much like with the untouchables of Hinduism, people deal with these workers daily and often do not give a second thought at how their lifestyles are. This pervasive disregard for the lower class has led to many people not knowing the seemingly insurmountable difficulties many members of the lower class face daily. Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America seeks to expose the harsh realities of life for these people. She notes that some of coworkers are homeless and that others must support multiple people with an income of less than ten dollars an hour. Repeatedly, she includes details that highlight the desperately destitute conditions of her coworkers. At its core, Nickel and Dimed is a book whose author wrote to edify people of the reprehensible conditions of the lower class in the United States and the injustices of the American system.
Continuously, Ehrenreich concludes with disdain that living off of a minimum wage job without being homeless is difficult or impossible. At each of the states she travels to, she finds she must work two jobs in order to afford even the most basic rooms. She notes that her troubles are not unique. Persistently, she writes about her coworkers being homeless or in one instance, not even being able to afford proper food and instead eating only a bad of Doritos chips for lunch daily (78). When she is working at a cleaning company, she and her coworkers must buy some cheap cleaning solution, but she realizes that they do not even have the $5 collectively between four working adults to buy the solution they need (citation needed). In addition to describing the deplorable conditions of her coworkers, Ehrenreich focuses on the difficulty of finding housing for much of the book. As she attempts to find a suitable rental, she concludes in each state she conducts her research in that she must work another job in order to find housing that meets even the most basic requirements of being a suitable shelter. The one instance in which Ehrenreich does not work two jobs and has housing is in Minnesota. However, Ehrenreich realizes she cannot work at only her job in Walmart and decides to end her research as she cannot afford to pay rent for much longer with only one job (citation needed). A 2013 study supports Ehrenreich’s conclusion that finding an affordable rental while working a minimum wage job is impossible, finding that on average, a minimum wage worker must work for eighty or more hours a week in order to afford an entry-level apartment (“2013 Hours at Minimum Wage Needed to Afford Rent”). With Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich exposes the impossibility of living on minimum wage without being homeless.
She also expresses her discontent for the wealthy homeowners who view the maids with contempt: “do the owners have any idea of the...

Find Another Essay On Nickel and Dimed: the Downtrodden and the Ignored

Nickel and Dimed Essay

1951 words - 8 pages Barbara Ehrenreich's intent in the book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America exhibited how minimum wage isn't enough for Americans to get by on and that there's no hope for the lower class. Her main objective was achieved by living out the life of the "working poor". During the three cases studies she worked many jobs that are worked by many that are simply striving to live day to day. The jobs she had didn't generate sufficient

Nickel and Dimed Essay

1214 words - 5 pages Seeing Eye to Eye with Barbara Ehrenreich's article "Nickel and Dimed." In her article, "Nickel and Dimed," Barbara Ehrenreich says that "many people earn far less than they need to live on" ( 270.) A good percent of high school graduates move right on to college. They graduate college and then they usually move on to make a good amount of money to live a satisfying life. However, college is not made for everyone, and what would our

Nickel and Dimed

1519 words - 6 pages Croskey 1Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich was interestingly enlightening. Barbara Ehreneich does a great job of giving and inside look to the life of poverty stricken people. The things that interests me the most about the book are the people she comes in contact with such as, co-workers, managers, and consumers; it is very interesting to hear each persons story. For instance, while in Florida she meets so many people, each one with their

Nickel and Dimed - 891 words

891 words - 4 pages he brings in a personal tone towards the criminals and their story. He illustrates this personal tone using literary elements and devices. The literary devices that best portray this personal feel are flashbacks and perspectives. Throughout the novel Capote strives to bring in the personal views of the murderers, and does so successfully. Truman was able to inform the reader of not only the personal feelings of the criminal. In Cold Blood

Nickel and dimed notes

622 words - 2 pages * The idea for this book was developed over an expensive lunch with the editor of Harper's* Recruitment ads do not equal jobs. Want ads are not a reliable measure of the actual jobs available at any particular time. These are meant to build and maintain a supply of applicants to replace present workers who have resigned or are fired.* Having a job doesn't guarantee a better life. It is impossible to survive on a minimum wage with one job and

Nickel and Dimed - 1359 words

1359 words - 6 pages In Barbara Ehrenreich’s social experiment that was designed to get an in depth look on how the American poor survive. One of the many things that affected Barbara’s experience as a poor person was how her employers treated her and her fellow employees in all of their professions. Overall, I think the employers of lower class people treat those people with disdain and put a lot of pressure on employees. This is done to demoralize lower employees

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed

1061 words - 4 pages Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed In the novel Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehnreich, there are many hurtles she must overcome to experience the life of a low income worker. She sets some ground rules for herself, such as always having a car, and starting out with a certain amount of money for her down payment on an apartment. Although the rules are doable, she admits that she broke all of the rules at least once. Even though Barbara

"Nickel and Dimed" response paper

845 words - 3 pages . Personally, I feel that that week was more emotionally and physically stressful than a week of Barbara's work. The only difference being that I always had a place to sleep, did not have to worry about bills, and other similar differences.The American Dream that I am sure everyone in "Nickel and Dimed" was striving for probably consisted of financial freedom, which is the ability to maintain one's self comfortably without a steady job. The hard working

Compassion in the Workplace in Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

731 words - 3 pages . They all know how their co-workers feel, and to share a smile, it may help someones day. The novel Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich shows the hard working, fast paced environment of the work place. Even the smallest jobs can take a toll on a person. Along with taking a toll, the novel also references the main point of workers showing compassion on the job. From the story, Barbra talks with one of her co-workers, and tries to help her out

Nickel And Dimed: Occupations by Barbara Ehrenreich

2222 words - 9 pages Nickel And Dimed: Occupations Barbara Ehrenreich provides evidence in “Nickel and Dimed” that she’s an outstanding author with this book. Its engaging and compelling, no question about that. But it’s hard to get from side to side at times since of the authors attitudes. Her key summit is to carry concentration to the scrape of the working deprived, but she manages to be both abusive and divisive. Occupation on attacking our industrialist

"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

Similar Essays

Nickel And Dimed Essay 1690 Words

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: Essay

710 words - 3 pages nation is by first acknowledging the accuracy of Barbara Ehrenreich’s (2001) premise as it is asserted in the final chapter of Nickel and Dimed: “Some odd optical property of our highly polarized and unequal society makes the poor almost invisible to their economic superiors” (p. 216). After we accept this as a truth, we must then move to analyze the methods by which this system is perpetuated. The exploitation and injustice against the American

Nickel And Dimed Essay 906 Words

906 words - 4 pages In the story, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich takes us on a journey into a life of penny-pinching, welfare, low wages and near homelessness. She shows us what it is like for a middle-aged woman to survive on minimum wage, live in terrible conditions and the search for job security. Ehrenreich does a great job of portraying how hard some people can have it, and that their whole life may be a struggle to survive.Being a teenager, with a

Nickel And Dimed Essay 976 Words

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