Low Wage Workers Analysis

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Low wage workers: The Rejects of Society "They neglect their children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high” (221). Barbara Ehrenreich uses juxtaposition by comparing the working and upper class to implore sympathy; she makes the working class appear as victims, which brings empathy and guilt among the upper class. Society doesn’t see low wage workers by their genuine attitude towards their paying customers, but as an outcast because of their occupational status. However, one individual changes the way upper classes view the working class in the form of a book. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, brings the audience into her personal journey as an intentional low-wage worker. Ehrenreich accentuates how society views low-wage workers: she highlights how society sees low-wage workers as drug and alcohol abusers, she reveals how society set up traps to prove that low-wage workers are liars and thieves, and shows how society creates a psychological effect, which affects how the working class views themselves. Many assume a low-wagers life is miserable due to not having a well-paying job. The fact is that many people think the poor are poor because they constantly spend their money unwisely, maybe even on drugs and alcohol. Looking in a low wage worker’s perspective, they see a world where people assume they are substance abuser, because their lives seem miserable, however in the wrong way. Ehrenreich claims that low-wage workers spend their money wisely especially on rent and food. She shows a low-wagers real struggle as they try to find a home: “the big pr... ... middle of paper ... ...ful for creating a negative label on the working poor. Since no one will accept low wage workers in society, they only think of them as the ‘outcasts. Ehrenreich lastly states, “guilt doesn’t go anywhere far enough; the appropriate emotion is shame- shame at our dependency, in this case, on the underpaid labor of others” (221). She brings in an appeal to emotions of guilt and shame in her readers. She wants her readers to feel ashamed for treating the working class without respect. No one in society understands that the low-wagers job is what keeps America alive, if it wasn’t for the low wage class, there wouldn’t be restaurants servers, home care services, cashiers, etc. Society takes advantage of the little things life offers and Ehrenreich wants her audience to feel empathy towards their actions and to realize the low-wage workers are not society’s outcasts.
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