A Comparison Of Conformism In 'The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit'

1123 Words5 Pages
While the woman was managing the home, the man was maneuvering through the workforce. The 1950’s saw a steadily increasing ratio between blue-collar to white-collar workers. These men were suits and fedoras, worked in dimly lit offices, and absent mindedly working to achieve success. Sloan Wilson’s 1955 bestselling novel, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, captures the image perfectly. Most of these grey flannel suited men worked for large corporations. In 1956, William H. Whyte published The Organization Man, in which he warned that corporations, with their emphasis on bureaucracy and conformity, were producing workers incapable of independent thought and two eager to please authority. The bold entrepreneurial spirit, said Whyte, had given way to “the modest aspirations of organization men who lower their sights to achieve a good job with adequate pay and proper pension and a nice house in a pleasant community populated with people as nearly like themselves as possible.” American culture told men that to have a job, was to have a purpose. In Death of a Salesman (1951), based on Arthur Miller 's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Willy Loman (the salesman) has spent his entire life pursuing success, only to find himself a middle-aged failure. (Dirks) Though domesticity was enforced, even in today’s mass media, we often times portray it as more conformist than it actually was. To be sure, the 1950s was a time when marriage and homeownership was very high, and Americans were busy
Open Document