Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Start Your Free Trial

In Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, analyze the diction of the chapter "Serving in Florida."

Expert Answers info

stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,948 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Ehrenreich's purpose in writing Nickel and Dimed was to convey her experiences as an educated, solidly middle-class woman attempting to survive on an equal basis with those who did not have the advantages of education or savings to supplement their minimum-wage earnings. She tells the story of her adventures and misadventures in a very straightforward manner, but does inject her personal reactions as reflections to her experiences.

to my chagrin, no one from the approximately twenty places at which I've applied calls me for an interview. I had been vain enough to worry about coming across as too educated for the jobs sI sought, but no one even seems interested in finding out how overqualified I am.

Her sense of humor surfaces as a coping mechanism when describing how she endures some of the more demeaning or frustrating aspects of her research and the lifestyle she is forced to adopt for herself to carry out her study.

Number 46 is about eight feet in width and shaped like a barbell inside, with a narrow region-because of the sink and the stove-separating the bedroom from what might optimistically be called the 'living' knees rub against the shower stall when I sit on the toilet, and you can't just leap out of the bed, you have to climb down to the foot of it in order to find a patch of floor space to stand on.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial