Fast Food Nation

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Elisa Zamot Character Analysis

A worker at a McDonald’s in Colorado’s Front Range, Zamot is high-school-aged, and puts in long hours with little supervision at the store. Although Schlosser describes Zamot’s job as repetitive and difficult, with low pay, still he says that Zamot is mostly happy with the work, as it provides pocket change for her to pay for her car and other incidental expenses.

Elisa Zamot Quotes in Fast Food Nation

The Fast Food Nation quotes below are all either spoken by Elisa Zamot or refer to Elisa Zamot. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Diet, Nutrition, and Food Safety Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Mariner edition of Fast Food Nation published in 2012.
Chapter 3: Behind the Counter Quotes

Every Saturday Elisa Zamot gets up at 5:15 in the morning. It’s a struggle, and her head feels groggy as she steps into the shower. Her little sisters, Cookie and Sabrina, are fast asleep in their beds. . . .

Related Characters: Eric Schlosser (speaker), Elisa Zamot
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

What makes Elisa's story so impactful - and causes Schlosser to relate it here - is not that it's unique, but rather it is the norm for a great many workers in the fast food industry. Wages for people in Elisa's position are often extremely low, and hours can be hard to come by; thus workers will take whichever shifts are offered, which is why Elisa must wake up so early to commute to the closest McDonald's.

In examining the labor practices of the fast food industry, Schlosser takes pains to show that workers are treated not so much as individuals, but rather as "components" of a much larger system of food production. This system, he argues implicitly, is mirrored in the packing of meat and in other aspects of the factory farming that provide the food for McDonald's to cook and process. In this way, the fast food industry's practices have shaped the practices in related fields - to the detriment of those working in the industry. 


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Elisa Zamot Character Timeline in Fast Food Nation

The timeline below shows where the character Elisa Zamot appears in Fast Food Nation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Behind the Counter
Diet, Nutrition, and Food Safety Theme Icon
Greed, Corporations, and “The Bottom Line” Theme Icon
Work and “The Good Life” Theme Icon
Schlosser turns to the story of Elisa Zamot , a sixteen-year-old worker at a McDonald’s in south Colorado Springs. Zamot gets up early—often... (full context)
Diet, Nutrition, and Food Safety Theme Icon
Greed, Corporations, and “The Bottom Line” Theme Icon
Bureaucracy and Complex Systems Theme Icon
Work and “The Good Life” Theme Icon
Schlosser notes that Elisa Zamot , who works at the McDonald’s in Colorado Springs, works weekends and two evenings a... (full context)