Irony In Ellen Goodman's The Company Man

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Working is one of the many tasks that most adults have to endure. As for Phil, work was not just a task, but was a life commitment that took valuable time away. Ellen Goodman describes her stance of this issue in the piece, “The Company Man,” by employing repetition of important phrases and by showcasing the irony of Paul’s life. This conveys a sense of sympathy for Paul and his family and disapproval of his actions, who let his work consume his life, leading to his death. To begin, the use of repetition allowed Ellen Goodman to show her critical attitude and pity towards Phil. For example, Goodman starts the essay by affirming Phil’s death was because, “He worked himself to death.” With a phrase so direct, it shows that Goodman feels little sorrow for Phil since he had done this to himself. …show more content…

The irony used in the prompt is mostly directed towards the relationship between Phil and his family and how his work life affects that. For example, Phil “dearly beloved” his children, who according to Goodman, had barely even spent time with their father, “asking the neighbors what he was like.” The irony of showcasing this predicament contributes to Goodman’s sympathy towards Phil’s family who never really got to know him and for Phil who spent his time working instead of with his loved ones. Another example of irony is when Goodman mentions about his wife, who’s says she’s been “missing him all these years,” when a coworker mention how much Phil will be missed because of his death. This once again portrays Goodman’s sympathy towards Phil and his family. However, both of these examples also represent Goodman’s disapproval with Phil’s situation. While some of Goodman’s disapproval is directed at Phil for not having the time to spend with his family, it is also directed at his corporation for being the reason why he does not have enough

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