Analysis Of Barbara Ehrenreich 's Nickel And Dimed Essay

Analysis Of Barbara Ehrenreich 's Nickel And Dimed Essay

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In 2001, Barbara Ehrenreich published an analysis of her experience during a field reporting experiment she created and participated in between 1998 and 2000. This analysis was titled Nickel and Dimed (referred to as N&D). In this book she talks about her experiences in the three place she conducted her social experiment. Those places were Florida, Maine, and finally Minnesota.
The first place Ehrenreich heads to is Florida. There she finds her place in Key West where she locates an apartment and a waitressing job with in the first week, but soon realizes that she will have to work a second job to be able to survive. Another waitressing job eventually turns up and decides to quit her first job, because she learns that she can make more money at her new one. The conditions at this new job are terrible, but she knows that she has to work it regardless. She eventually does get another job housekeeping for a hotel. However this only lasts a day, because after going to her first day of training for it she goes back to her waitressing job. There a conflict occurs and she walks out. When describing how she left and how it felt when she did Ehrenreich said:
I leave. I don’t walk out, I just leave. I don’t finish my side work or pick up my credit card tips, if any, at the cash register or, of course, ask Joy’s permission to go. And the surprising thing is that you can walk out without permission, that the door opens, that the thick tropical night air parts to let me pass, that my car is still parked where I left it. (49)
After that, Ehrenreich hands over her mobile home to a friend and leaves Key West. She never really could find a way to fully live a life in Key West due to the harsh work conditions she wasn’t prepared for a...


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...like Holly from the maid service that Ehrenreich worked for could provide for her children as well as my parents have even though the household incomes and expenses would not have many differences.
Now there’s the fact of the matter that my situation is one out thousands. The main reason my parents and I never had to worry about being able to pay for one of those summer camps or the sports gear is because I had many mentors that would be willing to pay for my way through things and not require anything from it. The entire situation couldn’t have been more in favor of my family.
In the end, Ehrenreich’s experiment would not be something I would recommend doing, especially now. If someone were to re-attempt her experience then the outcome would be far worse for that person, and would be different in too many aspects to be able to fully accomplish much if anything.

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