Use of Rhetoric in Nickel and Dimed

1563 Words Jul 21st, 2008 7 Pages
Why Should We Care

In her expose, Nickel and Dime, Barbara Ehrenreich shares her experience of what it is like for unskilled women to be forced to be put into the labor market after the welfare reform that was going on in 1998. Ehrenreich wanted to capture her experience by retelling her method of “uncover journalism” in a chronological order type of presentation of events that took place during her endeavor. Her methodologies and actions were some what not orthodox in practice. This was not to be a social experiment that was to recreate a poverty social scenario, but it was to in fact see if she could maintain a lifestyle working low wage paying jobs the way 4 million women were about to experience it. Although Ehrenreich makes good
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Most low wage workers do not have this luxury. They generally work pay check to pay check and don’t have time to save up to stash extra money for later. She learns this through her co-workers as she investigates into their lives and finds out that most of them live with multiple people, or within parking lots. Most of Ehrenreich’s co-workers did not have a means of transportation other then public transportation, or their transportation was their place of residency. Most lived in flophouses, shared rooms, trailers, or hotel rooms. She also gave herself the luxury of being able to dip into her own money that was saved up from her “real” job. She makes a friend with one of her co-workers, Gail from the Hearthside, and at the end of chapter one, after she leaves her job, she gives Gail her keys to her apartment so she could move out of her flophouse that she pays $250 a week that she has been sharing with someone. Like she said she was not trying to recreate poverty, but just experience it. She would not let herself suffer by any means. She even went home to pick up cd’s and drink a bottle of wine after work. Now, this is where I feel that Barbara Ehrenreich actually makes a connection with her audience. Her use of pathos, I feel, was the strongest argument that she could have made

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