The Assistants: the reflection of the economic struggles of a generation that was promised the sky through debt.
Camille Perri narrates the story of Tina Fontana, an English graduate; who has been working a dead-end job for the last few years with a miserable salary enough to allow her not to die of hunger. Working for a major communication corporation, Tina was able to see what real wealth looks like, but she also saw the injustices of the rich over the poor. While trying to resolve a first-world problem for her boss, Tina realized that a tiny mistake could fix all of her economic struggles, even if that is considered fraud.
I have read a few articles and comments saying that if you want to be rich, you cannot expect to accomplish it by working for someone else. Perri, however, opened my eyes to a new reality: the rich are the ones that pay less, in all senses. Tax evasion, secret bank accounts, and complementary everything allow the rich to stay rich as they are not “obligated” to pay for anything. The lower classes, contrary to the high class, will be hunted down for every payment. Sadly we live in a system owned by the powerful, the rich, who feeds from the poor and purposefully keep the poor down to profit for themselves.
Understanding the previous point, one starts questioning if what they did was morally right or wrong, and if it was not correct, why the system allows for the rich to exploit the poor and give almost nothing to the poor? As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers started to see a decrease in the workforce, understaffed companies because new and old generations are demanding a change in working conditions from management, benefits, and living wages. So, how fictitious is Perri’s novel looking?
Regardless of how The Assistants hit home with its themes and plot, Perry tints the story with romance, friendship, a few laughs, and social justice. Interestingly enough, appealing to the egos and knowing the right people was enough to resolve the conflict in this novel; however, why do we have to resort to charity to achieve social justice and equity?
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