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1 BASIC COMPOSITION PAPER MICHALE KAMBER “TOIL AND TEMPTATION” ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD “FROM THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE” Striving for financial success in today’s society has affected the daily routines of families drastically compared to the earlier years of America. “From the Frying Pan into the Fire” by Arlie Russell Hochschild emphasizes the change in social and family structure due to the increasing desire to succeed in today’s capitalistic economy. Michael Kamber’s “Toil and Temptation” highlights the struggles of conforming to capitalism while maintaining traditional family roots as an immigrant in America. Both pieces of literature discuss how capitalism has changed the typical depiction of an American household in terms of time spent with family members compared to time spent working. Capitalism, as an economical and social structure, has caused a negative correlation between the profane and the sacred in American society. Activities, such as working full-time jobs and participating in social events, have taken away from the time spent with family and the community. Maintaining a significant amount of wealth in the modern society requires several hours spent performing a certain occupation. Kamber gives an example of how much time is consumed by work and pleasure by saying, Money that could have been saved and sent to Mexico is spent on women and beer. It is the cost of feeling alive for a night. Antonio gets home about 4am, sleeps for an hour, and leaves for work, exhausted, hung over, smelling of perfume and feeling good (Kamber, 199). There is an opportunity cost between the time spent on profane activities and sacred activities; the time spent on work and enjoyment must be acquired by giving up time spent with family and friends in the community. This way of life is typical in a
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2 capitalistic society because the common person wants to be successful. The definition of
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