Essay on Hand Of Mouth By Linda Tirado

Essay on Hand Of Mouth By Linda Tirado

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Hand to Mouth was written by Linda Tirado and was published by G.P. Putman’s Sons in 2014. In this book, Tirado talks about her experiences as a poor working woman in today’s society. She used this book to show people why poor people act the way they act and make the choices they make.
Chapter one talks about Tirado’s experiences working in her twenties as a bartender and a waitress. She was minimum wage and she mentioned that, “I’ve held down up to three: tending bar, waiting tables, and working as a voter registration canvasser. It nearly killed me, and I still didn’t break twenty grand that year.” (p. 6). My opinion on this is that it must be discouraging for her to work so hard and not get much out of it. However I also think that the reason she has to work so hard at minimum wage jobs is because she did not get a college degree and most jobs that pays well requires a college degree.
In chapter two, Tirado says, “you have no legal right to take breaks in America” (p. 18). She was working like many other minimum wage jobs, in harsh and dangerous conditions because her employer did not care about her safety. I would feel worn out and concerned for my safety if I had to constantly worry about grease burns or heat strokes or whatever the case might be. Another quote from chapter two that I found appalling was, “At-will means is that your boss can decide that your eyes are too brown one day and let you go on the spot.” (p. 20). It would be stressful to know that you can get fired any minute for any reason and it does not have to be a fair reason.
One thing that really stuck with me in the third chapter was, “without benefits, which no longer come standard-issue with your average job like they used to, hospital administrators ...


... middle of paper ...


...e helping them find a warm and safe place to sleep.
In the tenth chapter, Tirado writes a letter to “rich people” and tries to explain how they are very similar. She even goes as far as giving them advice that she has picked up from being poor. I think that it is admirable that Tirado was able to admit her own shortcomings so the rich people reading her letter might be able to relate to her.
Overall, I think that this book does an exceptional job at explaining what it is like to be poor and what goes through the mind of a poor person. It gives several valid points to reducing the levels of poverty that we experience in today’s society. The fact that this book reaches out to people of all classes, those who are poor, middle-class, and wealthy. Poverty is not something that anyone is able to understand completely unless they are subjected to it like Tirado has been.

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