Nickel and Dimed Study Guide from LitCharts | The …

Note: questions 4-10 below are adapted with permission from Mary Kay Harrington, Cal Poly SLO, who suggested during her 8/21/08 visit to CSUN seven things students could gain in a writing class using Nickel and Dimed:

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America …

Like Ehrenreich, Bellesiles became a celebrated fixturein academia – however briefly – because of his political conclusions,rather than his intellectual abilities.

A consistent thesis of Nickled and Dimed is that the poor deserve to earn more;the rich do not deserve what they earn; and the bourgeoisie are merely robots.


Nickel and Dimed is a book by Barbara Ehrenreich

Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6-$7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity--a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.