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Analysis Of Nickel And Dimed

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, describes her experience and explains how individuals in the workforce survive on low wage. Before embarking on her journey, Ehrenreich starts this experiment with some limitations, as well as a set of rules: no homelessness, no going hungry, no depending on skills, having at least 1,000 dollars, etc. She begins her journey in a town called Key West in Florida as a waitress that pay 2.43 dollars plus tips. Then, goes for to Maine, taking a job as a maid that pays at least 6.65 dollars an hour, as well as a dietary maid at a nursing home. After she quits being a maid, she continues in Minnesota acquiring a job at Walmart and Menards, a warehouse store. Menards becomes too…show more content…
What do these details tell you about the writer’s assumptions about the knowledge and experience of readers?
In Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Ehrenreich doesn’t assume much of her audience. Now having written the book, she expects her audience to have some sort of background about how low wage jobs or about some of the experiences of low wage jobs. Either way, Ehrenreich assumes that most of her readers aren’t aware or have some experiences when it comes to low wage jobs. Throughout the story, she describes what she is talking about or the experiences most people face when looking for a job or apartment. For example, when looking for jobs in West Key, she starts off by stating the types of jobs she wants to avoid and gives a reason why she decided to avoid those certain types of jobs: “I rule out various occupations for one reason or another: hotel front-desk clerk… gets eliminated because it involves standing in one spot for eight hours a day” (13). Also, when explaining the marketing problem, she claims, “the problem of rents is easy for a noneconomist, even a sparsely educated low-wage worker, to grasp” (199). No matter how difficult the explanation is, she finds a way to explain how rent is a problem that even a high schooler who has never experienced living in the real world with a low wage job could understand. She highlights the basics and educates her audience on her experiments, highlights the main problems, and how people struggle with only having
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Evaluation:
12. What is the purpose of the argument, do you think?
Ehrenreich purpose of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America was to educate and inform readers about the struggles people face when working a low wage job. As well as, get them to take action in changing the way low wage workers live. Not everyone can depend on their low wages to make it through life. Ehrenreich states that perfectly through the low wage jobs she took and the lives of other low wage workers. Their story was shared to inspire the people to take action and fight against the poverty low wage workers face everyday.
13. Overall, is the argument sound?
Ehrenreich does make a very strong argument with supporting facts and evidence from both herself and the many coworkers she met.

14. Did the author convince you of his or her point of view on any issues?
Giving low wage to workers is horrible thing to do. Especially, families who struggle to be financially stable with two or more jobs. The fact that Ehrenreich claims that low wage workers aren’t able to always depend on their income got me agreeing with everything she stated. I already knew it wasn’t as simple as get a job and paying rent. Ehrenreich does a great job at showing the struggles of low wages and it wasn’t hard to convince me that she was right about this
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