Desperation

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kevinb
Words 1914
Pages 8
After reading Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and watching the documentary Roger and Me, it’s easy to compare the desperation the people seem to have in both of these circumstances. Barbara Ehrenreich wrote Nickel and Dimed to demonstrate the desperation of the jobs that an unskilled worker has. Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? Erenbeich decided to find out by actually living the life that people would have under these circumstances. She traveled to three different cities in which to work. The first was Florida, the second Maine and the last Minnesota. To make everything realistic she spent only money from her wages and nothing from her savings. While there, she lived in the cheapest housing and accepted work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She also found out that even the humblest livelihoods require strenuous mental and physical effort.. In a capitalistic society, where "unskilled workers" struggle to make ends meet, big companies continue to exploit their labor. The idea of reification also plays well into this story, where the amount of money received in wages is not an equal representation of the worth produced by the laborer, and the laborers act as if they can't change the system. Since reading Nickel and Dimed, it is evident that hard work, contrary to popular belief, doesn't always lead to success and advancement in today's society. The old motto of if you’re willing to work hard you can always find a job is not always true. Our society seems to have moved from an industrial society to one geared toward knowledge. Blue collar workers are…...

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