Universitatea din Craiova
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9 / 2015
Contrastive Analysis of the British and the American Working Class, as presented in David Lodge’s Nice Work and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
The main topics David Lodge addresses in The Campus Trilogy are the academic environment, the relationship between ideology and personal life, the idea of the global campus and other academia related aspects. However, in every of these three novels he deals with themes which are unrelated to the academic life. In the last novel of the trilogy, Nice Work (1988), Lodge presents the lives of the workers from the factory managed by Victor Wilcox. Even though this topic is meant to be a parallel to the Victorian factories, it raises awareness regarding the lives of the poor people belonging to the working class.
In the beginning of the twenty first century, Barbara Ehrenreich, an American journalist, wrote a documentary book about the lives of the working class people in the United States. Her book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2001), soon became a bestseller due to the writing style and tone. In order to accomplish this documentary book, Ehrenreich did “the old-fashioned kind of journalism”, as she terms it; she led the same life as the working poor so that she could get the right idea about their situation.
The present paper compares the situation of the British factory workers, as presented by David Lodge in Nice Work at the end of the eighth decade of the twentieth century, and that of the American working poor, as depicted by Barbara Ehrenreich in her documentary Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America in the beginning of the twenty first century.
Keywords: poverty, low class, factories, industry, working poor.
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