Similarities And Differences Between Nickel And Dimed And Of Mice And Men

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Throughout the United States, people, different as they may be, have one goal and desire that is the same. For lots of those people, that goal is just to get around the challenges that one day brings upon them. For many, they will do whatever it takes to provide financially for themselves and or their family, in an attempt to build supportable and desirable lives. This concept is known as the American Dream. In Barbara Ehrenreich’s, Nickled and Dimed and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the American Dream is an ever lasting concept that is perceived differently by both of the book’s main characters. Although these two pieces of writing were written in different eras, the characters actions regarding the American Dream are very similar. In …show more content…
For starters, Barbera, like George and Lennie, had jobs that required hard work and physical labor, while still not making sufficient enough wages. The difference, however, is that George and Lennie’s low wages are a direct result of the Great Depression, where the stock market crashed, making the economy plummet. Because of this, many people went unemployed and if they were working, it was a for a very small wage. In Ehrenreich’s case, her struggle was not based on a struggling economy, but rather an issue with the paid hourly wage. Toward the end of the book, Barbara says: When the rich and the poor compete for housing on the open market, the poor don’t stand a chance. The rich can always outbid them, buy up their tenements or trailer parks, and replace them with condos, McMansions, golf courses, or whatever they like.”(Ehrenreich 199). Although there were many people who poverty stricken in Of Mice and Men, that was largely due to the state of the stock market, making people who were rich become poor. In the case of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara and the fellow people she works with often struggle to find living conditions that fit their monetary status. She clearly is a strong believer that the rent is far too high for people of that salary to pay in order to obtain suitable living conditions. Aside from low wages and high rent being an issue, another major sticking point is transportation. During this time period, it was not taken for granted that people had access to a motorized vehicle. Because of this, many people who would like to seek out jobs, could not because they simply were not able to get themselves there. Inversely, this is not an issue for Ehrenreich because she had a car before going into the low wage work force. However, though, this is not a major problem in Of Mice and Men because the

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