Barbara Ehrenreich’s memoir Nickel and Dimed remember her experiences as a great “unskilled” employee attempting to go on the low wages of her temporary lower class. Since she works various job in different geological locations throughout the United States, the girl describes her own economic, physical, mental, logistical, and social difficulties as well those of her other workers. The girl uses individuals experiences not just in prove the problem of minimal wage living, but to criticize corporate establishments and to endorse simultaneously pertaining to the style of staff and for all their solidarity. In constructing this argument the girl includes points of a lot of encounters with Christians, particularly referring frequently to Christ, drawing implied comparisons between religion and corporations, combining capitalistic and religious diction. She makes clear her disdain so that she interprets to be Christian hypocrisy through her sarcasm and satrical religious diction, and successfully attacks romanticization of poverty perpetuated by simply Christian ideas of sacrifice and enduring.
The religious aspect of Ehrenreich’s discussion emerges discreetly as the girl establishes the distrust that Christians hold for the working class plus the similar distrust held simply by corporations. The girl mocks her own “middle-class solipsism” if the “gross improvidence” of many of her coworkers’ housing situations “strikes” her (26). The ambiguity from the word improvidence provides this statement with two noticeably possible and nearly opposing meanings, improvidence as meaning wasteful or perhaps thriftlessness signifies that the plight of her co workers is their own fault, a good idea she straight refutes when ever she remarks a “host of unique costs” prohibitive to the the majority of thrifty decisions for the indegent. Alternatively the term must mean a lack of work direction, and so Ehrenreich implicitly argues that God does not guide the poor, an argument which is often extended into a metaphor to get modern Christian believers, whom Ehrenreich believes possess forsaken the reduced class. Of her time waitressing in Florida, the girl claims the fact that worst customers are the “Visible Christians”, noting that the “people wearing crosses or ‘WWJD? ‘ keys look at [the workers] disapprovingly no matter what [they] do” (36). In making this kind of generalization she characterizes Christian believers (at least the ones she perceives being sanctimonious) since universally distrustful of the functioning class.
With particular Christians’ doubt toward the reduced class founded, Ehrenreich further more critiques modern Christianity and, more generally, religion, by simply directly contrasting it to the corporations in control of the workers. Accompanying these references is nearly usually capitalistic diction, conjoining and confounding carefully morality with capitalistic rewards. She notes the Mexican-American man whom summarizes “our debt” to Jesus, and describes the “business of recent Christianity” (68-69), turning the religious institution of Christianity into a business one, which places monetary gains over a individuals who accord it together with the power necessary to its own presence. Similarly, the non-corporeal “theoretical entit[ies], the corporation[s]”, minimize the value of their particular employees as people and prioritize you’re able to send profit above the well-being in the individuals (17). In the Wal-Mart associate alignment meeting the employees are discourages from doing “time theft”, and the “indignities imposed on so many low-wage workers” produce a debilitating sense of waste which perpetuates the routine of cheap labor (115). The parallels Ehrenreich draws among religious and corporate institutions in relation to attitudes toward and take care of the poor working class give a strong basis for her ultimate Marxist move cry of the workers irrespective of her merely temporary regular membership in their category.
If perhaps Christianity in its righteousness resembles the organizations that Ehrenreich claims oppress their personnel, then her comparison chemicals herself and, more generally, the entire, struggling working class, as Jesus Christ. She explains two distinct versions of Jesus which usually she believes exist: the live Christ, “the living man, the wine-guzzling vagrant and bright socialist”, and “the crucified Christ” (68). This dichotomy of Christ presents a metaphor for both the individual workers and for the significant class since perceived by corporations and, as Ehrenreich argues, with a certain sect of Christianity. Each staff member, like the living Christ, is an individual who “is never stated, nor [is] anything he ever has to say” (68), rather, the crucified Christ is the simply worshipped symbol, and his crucifixion is the incredibly source of “our debt” to him (68). It is “the business of modern Christianity to crucify him again and again” in the same way she says it is the organization of organizations to metaphorically crucify the employees ” to subject these to physically demanding labor with very little pay and long hours. Similarly, modern Christianity’s praise of Christ “as a corpse” and the perceived hypocrisy and sanctimony with their righteousness is definitely akin to the corporate rhetoric intended to deceive potential employees in to believing the corporation has “Respect for the individual”, once in actuality they are really treated as little more than assistance drones (144).
Ehrenreich’s ultimate purpose in preserving the Christ motif plus the comparisons among modern Christianity and corporate manipulation is ironic, she endeavors to tear down the typically Christian loving notions of poverty which have grown in prevalence in the us. She signifies that she herself is a great atheist the moment she views a chapel tent rebirth as “the perfect entertainment for a great atheist on her individual, ” therefore distancing very little from virtually any religious moral implications. With her atheism established, the irony of her words relating to religion turns into clear. Incongruously, she says that she’s “not employed by a cleaning service service, somewhat, [she has] joined a mystic purchase… grateful… for [the] opportunity to earn grace through submission and toil” (62). The sarcasm and joy with which the girl skewers the idea of suffering as a path to some sort of religious “and therefore capitalistic betterment (by way of her previously established intermixed religious and capitalistic diction) is manufactured more effective by the sincerity while using sincerity in the “rich persons [who] pay out to spend their weekends… carrying out various menial chores” (62). Similarly, the lady mixes her legitimate analysis that “Jesus… more or less [was] favored by a great inscrutable God” for the only purpose of his suffering with the greater sarcastic software that she would consider a mortally wounded colliege to be likewise favored. Eventually, she efficiently takes advantage of her established Christ motif and employs this as a way to uncover the hypocrisies of equally Christianity and company America by mixing whining with the reputable Christian and company notions. In placing the two in such close closeness, she forces the study of both, featuring her recognized unfairness from the status quo.
Ehrenreich’s ubiquitous Christ design interacts practically in ideal coordination with her illustrations of the individual worker versus the significant, nebulous organizations. She efficiently uses her own experience to illustrate the commonalities between Christianity and corporations. When her discussions move to topics related to religion particularly, her commonly biting, although lighter cynical humor takes on a more vitriolic edge. This kind of proves being an effective application in attaining her ideal critique of both faith based and corporate hypocrisy simultaneously. However , her opinion reveals alone through infrequent blanket generalizations, which do not are the cause of varying Christian opinions, because she depends on primarily a single experience intended for the basis of her religious argument. non-etheless, she provides a compelling debate exposing a hypocritical coincidence of company and spiritual America.