Essay on Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich

Essay on Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich

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Barbara Ehrenreich frequently uses pathos in her novel Nickel and Dimed to make the readers feel sympathy for the hardships of the low working class, who do not get recognized. Throughout the novel Ehrenreich discovers the difficulty of searching for a place to live that is reasonably affordable and accomadable to her life. Ehrenreich describes the lunches her former co-workers eat. Ehrenreich calculates that her co-workers do not take in enough calories for the work they are doing. Once Ehrenreich acquires a job, she talks to her co-workers and the hard labor they put in everyday. Along with the jobs, workers have to worry about healthcare. Most workers cannot afford health care, therefore they have to be careful not to get injured. Many of the low working class work at minimum wage jobs, where they rarely have a choice where they work that is close to their home.

The working class has to suffer through the hard labor on minimum wage to barely survive everyday. Ehrenreich switches jobs from the Heartside to Jerry’s. She notices the difference in each job, and “there are no breaks at Jerry’s” (30). Workers go through an agonizing six to eight hour shift without breaks. The employees choose to work at Jerry’s rather than Heartside, because Jerry’s attracts three to four times more customers. More customers make the restaurant busier, therefore more tips. Employees also have other reasons for not changing jobs. Most employees do not have their own cars, therefore they rely on other people for transportation. Ehrenreich discovers that there is an, “impossible topographical problem to solve” (205). The transportations that employees use are often family members or friends that pass the restaurant or such on their way to work. Em...


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...here it is easier for them to get to. Most workers do not have cars, therefore have to reply on other people or walk. ven if a better job offering would come, they couldn 't take it because of topographical changes. With almost half or more of their paychecks going to rent, there is little left over for necessities such as food. Ehrenreich witnesses the “meals’ her co - workers eat everyday. The meals that these workers intake are snacks normal people eat mid-day. Ehrenreich demonstrates the real life situations low wage workers go through. Most of the jobs done by them go unnoticed. It goes to show how hard labor will not pay off in the end. Ehrenreich uses pathos to convey with the reader’s sympathy for the characters. It makes the reader emotionally attached to the book, therefore bringing a level of understanding to what minimum wage workers go through everyday.

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