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Paper Topic:

Nickle and Dimed

br Starving but Sarcastic Ehrenreich 's Humor in Nickel and Dimed

Starving but Sarcastic Ehrenreich 's Humor in Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich uses vivid imagery and sarcasm to denote the somber existence of low-wage workers . Her sarcasm and humor seen in the book in times of reflection , help the reader to understand just how fully immersed she is in her role . As a woman of higher status , she must not appear to be overly happy as that would risk her cover ' being blown . She finds the common ground between herself

and her fellow workers in a sense of camaraderie and comedy . There is little else that she has to relate to in the fact that she is not destined to live in this lower class caste , as most of the other women surely will be . For this reason and the fact that she harbors some guilt for her place in society , she tries to make others laugh (including her readers ) at the irony of their life and their work

Ehrenriech has to stretch to find compassion among her superiors , but not usually among her co-workers . She becomes amazed at how inhumanely some are treated when they need simple kindness and are treated like sub-human creatures , whose only role in life is to make their company money . These low-wage employees work when they are ill and forgo food and necessities to cater to those , who do not understand their plight Barbara is most sarcastic and sometimes enraged at these defining moments . Many times the activist in her attempts to affect the thinking of the other workers (especially the maids ) that they are worth more than they believe they are . Her fall into despair is brief when she realizes that she cannot change the economic system or the economic situations of these women , so her choice is either to laugh or to cry She chooses (mostly ) to laugh

The treatment of the maids by Ted the owner /manager is the most striking part of Ehrenreich 's journalism . It is in this job setting that she gets the most angry as she is working in a nursing home on weekends as well as at the maid service . Her tiredness and disillusionment become apparent at this point and she is careful not to get so to her co-workers as she did in Key West . Although , she tries her hardest to fit in ' with the other maids , she cannot understand how they allow themselves to be treated so unfairly by Ted . They , also , do not understand her sarcasm , so her alienation is at its peak here , as well Her only option is the inner dialogue of humor she has for herself . On page 107 , she says that anger is toxic , as the New Agers say , and there is no evidence anyway that my co-workers share my outrage on their behalf , at least not in any overt form ' For this reason she is able to control her anger and keep her sense of humor


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