The Company Man Ellen Goodman Analysis

564 Words3 Pages

Megan Broudy
Teresa Matranga
AP English & Composition
02 December 2015
In a passage titled, "The Company Man," by Ellen Goodman, Goodman explains the way she views Phil, the story's main character. To Goodman, Phil embodies the worst characteristics of corporate America: shallow, selfish and indifferent. To convey her dislike of Phil, she uses a myriad of rhetorical devices, including tone, repetition and satire which aid the readers' understanding of a workaholic's nature.
Strangely, Goodman rarely refers to her characters by their names. She generally refers to them impersonally, like, "the sixty-year-old company president" or "the forty-eight year old widow." Due to this writing strategy the characters, at first glance, seem unimportant and dehumanized to a certain extent by her; however, upon further examination, these character references are only a reflection of the corporate mentality that treats people like they have expiration dates and are expendable. Goodman repeatedly uses the sentence, "He worked himself to death, finally and …show more content…

The company president said to Phil's wife, "I know how much you will miss him." Phil's wife answers, "I already do." Since Phil was seldom at home and spent the majority of his time at work, his presence was missed before he died. Goodman's cleverly worded phrases such as when Phil's "dearly beloved" eldest son asks neighbors what his father was like and the embarrassment that caused. Goodman uses these details to demonstrate what a pitiful life Phil lived, while at the same time using a slightly sarcastic tone in the quote "dearly beloved," to demonstrate that his eldest son wasn't loved or cherished by his father. The sarcasm is effective in showing how disgusted Goodman is by Phil's neglect of his

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