Serving in Florida

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"Serving in Florida" by Barbara Ehrenreich, is an effective essay derived from Ehrenreich's book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. This essay is a personal reflection of Ehrenreich's experiences working "under- cover" in low paying, blue collar jobs in Florida. This essay is a descriptive narrative that shows how hard it is for low paid, working class Americans, to make it in the world. Ehrenreich vividly describes her experiences and sends a message to the reader that many working class Americans live in harsh, sub-human conditions. People living in this situation do not have the opportunity to succeed, and are stuck in a downward spiral of increasing poverty and despair. The essay reveals the sad truth that many people take for granted what they have in life. It reminds the reader that there are Americans living in horrible conditions, who are unable to afford the simple necessities in life; like new pants for work, or a decent meal. Ehrenreich demonstrates through her personal experience, that it is almost impossible to survive on the wages a low paid American works for.

"Serving in Florida" is extremely effective because Ehrenreich places the reader in the shoes of poor Americans, by narrating her personal experience about the subject. The fact that Ehrenreich left her "privileged" lifestyle to conduct this experiment, connects with the reader on a personal level. In essence, Ehrenreich's experience proves that this situation can happen to anyone. It brings a sense of reality to the subject, and has a far greater effect then if Ehrenreich had used statistics alone to prove her point. In addition, first hand experience gives Ehrenreich undisputable credibility on the subject. The author paints a realistic picture of the conditions through her use of colorful and straight forward language. The reader is instantly submerged into the environment and is given the opportunity to experience the conditions with a sympathetic point of...
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