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Nickel and Dimed Essential Questions
Transcript of Nickel and Dimed Essential Questions
Nickel and Dimed: The Power Struggle
Throughout Barbara's experience, we see that the powerful people in her society are not simply those who are richer or more educated, but those who's skills fit their job description. Obviously her employers and superiors are qualified to have power over people in that field, like forcing drug tests or dictating her daily attire. Compared to her, they are more apt to be hired, listened to and promoted socially, which makes them the powerful people in society: the instead of those who are intelligent and rich, the fit the requirements and in turn are more needed
The high potential a person possesses causes a negative affect on their ability to preform actions that do not require ones greatest aspects.
In society today money equals a higher status and helps one to survive in the modern world. The topic of money is heard most days throughout daily conversations. The people in society with the money are the ones who are being watched and discussed about. Whenever a person with a higher status makes a mistake it is always heard about either by gossip or news. People with the money seem to have the world watching them and every move they make as well on the items they can possess. The class of wealthy have the highest potential because of the dollars they posses. With money people can essentially have whatever they want in life. However, this wealth and publicity leads to a downfall in ones lifestyle and personality. For example, many times we see celebrities involved in drugs and bad decisions because of the strain/stress of people always watching and expecting them to have the "perfect image." In the case with Barbara, she is living off of minimum wage and can never afford to make a mistake. She is able to obtain her highest potential but cannot reach it because of her current lifestyle. Barbara went from her highest potential to a minimum wage worker and now it will be hard for her to achieve the same capabilities in her now "average" work career.
Often, it is seen that the struggle originates from one class believing that they are more superior than the other. During the author's experience Barbara takes the reader through her experience at Walmart. Have you ever just left an item in a place it doesn't belong? Throughout Barbara's time at Walmart she is left cleaning up items strewn across the store and left in random places, clothes littering the floor, and large volumes of returns also piled up on the floor. In a store when a person knows there will always be an employee to clean up the mess one made or item they left behind then rarely does one feel that they need to pick up after themselves. The employees are looked down upon because the shopper is always right and knows an employee will always be there to clean up their mess, and so in this specific situation, the class struggle is between the consumer and the employees.
Relating back to the thesis, we see that Barbara never uses her potential, and the fact that she had it in the first place makes her incompetent and whiny for that work environment. She isn't used to such physical labor, and as a response she says "...but no job is as easy as it looks to the uninitiated". She recognizes the relative difficulty of her job, and how her high potential is not only useless but also weighs her down,
Who are the powerful people in society
The powerless people in the book are the people who are over competent for their job. The main character of the story, Barbara, is highly trained in biology and writing. However, when she gets such a simple job, like putting away clothes, the job is almost difficult for her, for she has mentally prepared for a difficult job. However, the simplicity of the job she is provided causes her to be mentally challenged in her position, for she must remember how to preform simple, physical tasks. This being said, it is shown that those who are unskilled and unprepared for tougher positions, are usually more capable of performing the simplest of tasks. Having more potential in a seriously demanding career can deter a person from performing their their fullest in a simple task because a person such as Barbara will become skilled in a certain task and then sooner become unable to perform a simple cunning task.
Who are the Powerless