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

Start Your Free Trial

What is the author’s purpose in Nickel and Dimed?

Expert Answers info

Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write2,689 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

I actually have a different opinion than the educator above.  Although I do agree that Ehrenreich provides an amazing first-hand research experience of her plight as an underpaid worker, I don't think her main purpose was to provide the research or even reveal the plight.  In my opinion, Ehrenreich's main purpose was to prove that, due to the greed of corporate America, one is unable to "get by" in America while working a minimum wage job mostly because the minimum wage does not provide a "living wage."

What you don't necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you're really selling is your life.

Ehrenreich presents an entrepreneurial society that is dependent on greed in the upper echelons of business. Even locally owned businesses and/or franchise owners can be accused of this sin of greed. I will never forget reading the section where Ehrenreich was attempting to work as a maid was shocked at her training. What she was trained...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 517 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,948 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial