Quotes for Nickel and DimedThis is a featured page

Hello again, and welcome to the section of the Wiki where you can post all of your quotes about the book, Nickel and Dimed. Great quotes for this section are famous ones, cool ones, or quotes that you might just have thought were interesting or inspirational to share with others.

This is a quote that I laughed at originally, but then thought about, and realized the severity of her situation and the situation of everyone who lives off of minimum wage when it comes to housing, "Still, it is a shock to realize that 'trailer trash' has become, for me, a demographic category to aspire to" (Ehrenreich 12). Added by Zac Heth

"If I am now a productive fake member of the working class, it's because I haven't been working, in a hard physical sense, long enough to have ruined my body" (Ehrenreich 90). This quote reminded me of The Jungle because she says that the work she has done as a non blue color laborer was not physically daunting. But, now that she is truly working as a laborer she feels the effects on her body, and admits that it will ruin her body. While, in The Jungle Jurgis and his family all are torn down physically as low wage workers in a matter of years. Added by Zac Heth


The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time. ~Willem de Kooning
This quote is an exact summerization of Ehrenreich's life during the course of her experiment. Since she was poor, she had to work to make ends meet and pick up more than one job at a time. She never seemed to have any down time or relaxation as she was constantly working, or trying to find work, or a cheaper place to live in order to keep surviving on the minimum wage salaries she was collecting. Added by Devon Amini


During Ehrenreich's stay in Maine, she worked two jobs, of which many thought would be too much. However, she managed to do them both without injury as was common for those working at The Maids. Ehrenreich says as she took a shower that she thought "this water is mine. I have paid for it, in fact, I have earned it. I have gotten through a week at The Maids without mishap, injury, or insurrection" (Ehrenreich 85). No one believed that she could pull of working at The Maids and the nursing home; however, she pulled it off, and this quote shows how proud of herself she is. Added by Kaileigh Hossele


"As far as I can tell, the place isn't a nest of drug dealers and prostitutes; these are just working people who don't have the capital to rent a normal apartment" (160). While I read this book, a lot of parts with Ehrenreich's descriptions of low-wage life seemed like unnecessary whining and complaining about conditions that people face every day. Many times, I felt like calling the author up and saying, "Get over it. At least you don't have to live like this for the rest of your life." However, when I read this part, I understood how dangerous it must be to live in such conditions, and that for some, these dangers are unavoidable by occupation. Finally, it woke me up to the seriousness of the dangers that low-income workers face on a daily basis. Added by Meghan Tubaugh


In the chapter "Scrubbing in Main" Barbra Ehrenreich leaves a note to herself. This note states,If you can’t stand being around suffering people, then you have no business being in the low-wage work world” (Ehrenreich 101). This note almost summarizes the entire experiance that Ehrenreich has when describing the book. She describes an experiance devoid of joy; the experiance only evokes hard ache and suffering. She even goes as far as to leave this as a note to herself. The quote also fits in the context of the chapter well. It is apparent that the characters in the maid business are suffering almost every day; they are just trying to make a living.


The chapter "Scrubbing in Main moves past criticizing the poor and the poor and those who employ them. Ehrenreich goes so far as to rethink the upper twenty percent that she hsa so recently left by saying,“Do the owners have any idea of the misery that goes into rendering their homes motel-perfect? Would they be bothered if they did know, or would they take some sadistic pride in what they have purchased…” (Ehrenreich 89). By using this daring statement she delves into the lives of potential readers of her book. She is now seeing the wealthy as something different, something foreign. She comments from the lower twenty percents perspective, and their view of the rich is frightening.

Ehrenreich identifies a problem that many poverty stricken people face; it is subtle and at first may seem like a glazed fact that can possibly be dismissed. Ehrenreich states "The sitcoms and dramas are about fashion designers or schoolteachers or lawyers, so it's easy for a fast-food worker or nurse's aid to conclude that she is an anomaly--the only one, or almost the only one, who hasn't been invieted to the party" (Ehrenreich117). This was an unexpected find on Ehrenreich's journey into the poverty stricken suburbs that line inner citie streets. These people have been isolated until they feel that america has left them behind; and in fact we have. With the free reigne of the market and American's have in large part forgotten about what happens on the streets of America; the plight of so many citizens that have so little. The Government has invested a large part of its capital in oversea wars and infrastructure. So much so citizens back at home are forced to feel like outcasts; like anomalies. (Written By: Ben Robinson)

This quote analyzes the power that the employer has over the worker; and not justphysically. Ehrenreich writes: "Getting "reamed out" by Ted can ruin their whole day; a morsel of praise will be savored for weeks" (Ehrenreich 116). Because these workers have nobody else to give them praise they rely heavily upon their bosses. They act as either a praise giver or a moral despot. This technique enhances the output of workers but demorilizes them as human beings. Workers often get trapped into jobs that do not benefit them mainly because they feel attached to their supurior. Such actions lead to a greater poverty level and enhance the problem that Ehrenreich is living through. (Written By: Ben Robinson)

Something is wrong, very wrong, when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow (Ehrenreich 199)”.
I found this quote quite entertaining and immensely true. Ehrenreich has really gained a better knowledge of the lower working classes and realized why so many Americans can’t just pull themselves out of poverty by working. This quote should really be taken into consideration by the government and high ranking officials because something does need to be done about the economic crisis and not just paper tigers.
Added by Devon Amini.

“But the sky will not fall, and we will all be better off for it in the end” (Ehrenreich 221). This quote was found at the very end of Ehrenreich's book. As the last thing she says I agree completely. Everyone goes through hard times, some harder than others, but life goes on. All we can do is try to live with the best attitudes possible. If we aren't happy nothing else matters. We will be better off for what we accomplish in the end. - Kason Martinez was here.

“There seems to be a vicious cycle at work here, making ours not just an economy but a culture of extreme inequality. Corporate decision makers, and even some two-bit entrepreneurs like my boss at The Maids, occupy an economic position miles above that of the underpaid people whose labor they depend on. For reasons that have more to do with class -- and often racial -- prejudice than with actual experience, they tend to fear and distrust the category of people from which they recruit their workers. Hence the perceived need for repressive management and intrusive measures like drug and personality testing" (Ehrenreich 212).
This quote shows exactly how American economy and society has slumped into the movement of the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer, very similar to the economy of the Gilded Age in the late 19th century America. This quote is also showing how race is playing a major factor in how a worker is treated, even though racial tensions were supposedly cooled in the 1960s America, showing how once a country or a generation starts to believe one thing, it tends to rub off onto the later generations and never leave.
Added by Devon Amini.



devona2010
devona2010
Latest page update: made by devona2010 , Feb 23 2009, 6:06 PM EST (about this update About This Update devona2010 Edited by devona2010


view changes

- complete history)
Keyword tags: None
More Info: links to this page
There are no threads for this page.  Be the first to start a new thread.