Value Of Wealth In Ellen Goodman's The Company Man

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Wealth is to be pursued. Those lucky to acquire it effortlessly, often seek more. There is even a widely accepted “American Dream,” where everyone should pursue success and gain prosperity through their hard work and dedication. Although, there is admiration in wealth, some forget that happiness does not rely upon it. Many push aside family, friends and joy to gain it. In her satire, “The Company Man,” Ellen Goodman reveals her opinion on the value of wealth; she explains the extent that one should seek it. Although, one can be an “Important Person” in their work, at home they can be detached from their families. By employing a sarcastic and apathetic tone, as well as precise diction to show Phil’s insignificance, Goodman conveys her belief…show more content…
With this, Goodman declares that his family were survivors of a terrible experience. This blatantly shows her derision, as Goodman continues to describe the ways in how the family didn’t even behave as survivors. This is shown in Line 36-39 when Goodman describes that Phil’s wife had given up trying to compete for his work and that she already felt that missed him as he was always away from his family - expressing that Phil’s wife barely felt any sorrow for her husband’s death since she knew nothing about him. Furthermore, Goodman labels his children as “dearly beloved” when, in fact, it was the total opposite. Phil was never around for his children, hence they never experienced his love. Finally, her sarcasm is expressed when Goodman states, “Missing [Phil] all these years.” As a result of this description, the audience is shown that even before Phil’s death, his wife felt as he was already as he was never around for her. Thus, the sarcastic tone brings out the truth behind what Phil’s choices brought on his family; they barely felt any sorrow as he was never around to cause his family to feel love toward him. In return, the audience comprehends that Goodman feels no sympathy for this man and therefore should not get any from the reader as he received none from his family. By seeing that both the author and Phil’s family felt no condolence, the audience is prompted to imitate these feelings - which furthers Goodman's purpose to express why people that work too hard and forget the importance of love are

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