Nickel and Dimed Analysis

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Over the last few years, the global economy has dealt with quite a number of difficult circumstances and people around the globe have faced financial loss. Although it may be difficult to think objectively now, historically economic change has often been based on expansions and recessions. Nonetheless, one thing that remains constant throughout these periods is the individuals who are faced with the continuous strains and worries that are uncommon to typical white-collar workers. These would be the low-income workers: people who sacrifice their time and efforts working long, relentless hours just to make ends meet, who struggle to pay their monthly rent or buy enough food to feed their family for the rest of the week. In Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, the author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on an experiment in order to better understand the working class. She leaves her desk job as a highly acclaimed writer and decides to take on the lower paid jobs herself. In this book, Ehrenreich cleverly utilizes statistics and her own personal experiences as well as the experiences of others, in order to bring to light the harsh reality facing those Americans who are shockingly close to poverty and debt despite their daily hard work. Throughout the book, Ehrenreich uses several rhetorical strategies, but there are a few which are more evident than others. One of these is the use of statistics as a way to communicate additional information. Many of these statistics are not directly used to prove her main thesis, but they do bring certain unknown information to the reader that will influence their perspective to match that of the author. One key thing to note, however, is that she uses footnotes in order to convey the statistical information, because she may have felt that placing the data directly in the middle of her text would interfere with the fluidity of her writing. This proves to be an implicit way of using the rhetorical technique of statistics. Our...
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