In America, low wage workers are experiencing difficulty maintaining a roof over their heads, putting food in their mouths, and providing for their families (Briana, 2016). Many of these workers are working at least two or three-part time jobs, or working full time at low-wage paying jobs. However, working fulltime or having two or three part-time jobs, still isn’t enough to make ends meet, support themselves, and their families. In the novel, Nickel and Dimed (2015), Barbara Ehrenreich, the author, does a great job going into the the workforce to be employed as a low wage worker, plus acquiring information about how low wage workers make ends meet. Ehrenreich’s reasoning to do so is for research purposes.
For most working class women marriage was not a matter of emotion but a matter of necessity for survival. Wages were so low for the working class that women would never have any form of meat in their diets and were forced to rely on low quality foods to survive, such hardship is described by a textile worker who lamented on contents of her pantry: “butter we never have. A roast of meat none of us ever sees (Smith, p.147). In “The Struggle for The Breeches: Plebian Marriage” Anne K. Clark explains that marriage was seen as an opportunity for working class men and women to pool their wages together (Clarke, p.121). Frau Hoffman expresses this notion when she discloses the groom’s fir... ... middle of paper ... ...age between her mother and father in which she remarks that her “father had particularly admired [her] mother for her sweetness” (Beeton, p. 67).
The other problem is that this job shows no sign of being financially viable. Ehrenreich states that there is no secret economies that nourish the poor, “If you can 't put up the two months’ rent you need to secure an apartment, you end up paying through the nose for a room by the week” (286). On the first day of housekeeping, she is yelled and given nineteen rooms to clean. For four hours without a break she striped and remake the beds. At the end of the experience she explained that she couldn 't hold two jobs and couldn 't make enough money to live on with one as where single mothers with children.
When she realized that Portland was just another $6-$7 an hour town, she picked up two jobs to be practical. She began her quest for lodging at Motel 6. After several disappointments searching for a place to lie; she found a cottage for $120 a week and determined to poor cannot compete with the rich in the housing market. Ehrenreich moved to Minnesota to finish her experiment, where she hoped there would be a satisfying harmony between rent and wages. She locates an apartment from a friend lasting a short period until she finds a place to stay on her own.
The first term, ascribed status plays a large role in the analysis. For example, it is the social status a person is assigned at birth or assumed involuntarily later in life. It is a position that is neither earned nor chosen, but assigned. This term depicts the two families immensely. The mother and father in both families came from poor backgrounds and lived through struggle their entire lives.
The other problem is that this job shows no sign of being financially viable. Ehrenreich states that there is no secret economies that nourish the poor, “If you can 't put up the two months’ rent you need to secure an apartment, you end up paying through the nose for a room by the week” (286). On the first day of housekeeping, she is yelled and given nineteen rooms to clean. For four hours without a break she striped and remake the beds. At the end of the experience she explained that she couldn 't hold two jobs and couldn 't make enough money to live on with one as with single mothers.
There are frequent footnotes in the novel, many of them containing statistics about low-wage lifestyles. One claims that “In 1997, a living wage for a single parent supporting a single child in the Twin Cities metro area was $11.77 an hour” (Ehrenreich 127). Throughout the novel, Ehrenreich never gets paid this much in any of her jobs. In fact, she is amazed when a potential wage for a job is “not $8.50 but an incredible $10 an hour” (Ehrenreich 142). Even living on her own Ehrenreich could hardly pay for the basic necessities to live, it would have been impossible to do so with a child to care for as well.
Between the years of 1840 and 1914, about forty million people immigrated to the United States from foreign countries. Many of them came to find work and earn money to have a better life for their families. Others immigrated because they wanted to escape the corrupt political power of their homelands, such as the revolution in Mexico after 1911. Whatever the case, many found it difficult to begin again in a new country. Most immigrants lived in slums with very poor living conditions.
They may be considered to be in the middle class, their expenses take up most of their income and leaves without enough money to live comfortably. Like Caroline, the main character and his cave mate have to work as much as possible and live in bad conditions, but do it all in order to provide for their families. George Saunders writes about his characters to show the problems of many people today and to allow his audience to see what workers will do in order to provide for themselves and others. Pastoralia, then, is a distortion of what we see today with employees and their employers.
He found it easier to leave than to face the responsibilities of his family's needs. Their meager lifestyle and "wants" (Olsen 601) were more than he was ready to face. The mother regrettably left the child with the woman downstairs fro her so she could work to support them both. As her mother said, "She was eight months old I had to leave her daytimes" (601). Eventually it came to a point where Emily had to go to her father's family to live a couple times so her mother could try to stabilize her life.