10/02/12: Nickel & Dimed: Introduction


Why does the author only limit herself to discover the mathematical aspect of holding a minimum wage job to cover expenses? Why not note emotional changes of facing poverty as well?

Why does the author modify her vocabulary in respect to her coworkers while openly having the luxury to drive a vehicle to work and wearing usual clothes (assuming those objects are somewhat expenseive)?


Ehrenreich impressively is bold enough to forfeit her comfortability in order to discover whether minimum wage maintains a certain standard of living by reducing her occupation.

Ehrenreich inputs relevant facts and calculations that should be taken into consideration, such as the average price for a single bedroom apartment and other expenses in relation to minimum wage earnings.

Rhetorical Analysis

Synesthesia: “it just smells too much like fear” (page 6). Ehrenreich describes how she fears taking her social experiment closer to poverty.

Metaphor: “‘ the hopelessness of being a wage slave'” (page 2). Ehrenreich makes the connection between how certain individuals do not have the choice or flexibility to simply quit their jobs due to important financial obligations.


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