The Company Man Ellen Goodman Analysis

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In “The Company Man,” Ellen Goodman illustrates her feelings of anger and disgust toward Phil. Phil, in Goodman’s mind, represents Corporate America, working almost double the hours of average Americans. Ellen Goodman conveys her attitude of enmity and distaste towards Phil by including numerical scheme, satire, and irony in her writing. Goodman began aggressively while she dehumanizes Phil and his wife by representing them by their ages. Goodman establishes to be impersonal, letting characters remain nameless and contributing to the unimportance of Phil in work. “Phil, fifty-one years old…Helen, forty-eight years old,” mirrors the corporate mindset that all people have an “expiration date” and everyone is replaceable. She illustrates frustration…show more content…
Superficially, all seems well because his family lives a comfortable existence. Emotionally, however, his family has missed his emotional support for years. His wife, Helen, gave up “trying to compete with his work years ago.” All of his children grew up in a so-called normal family with a father and mother. At his funeral, though, they do not have enough memories about him to say a proper eulogy. Phil himself was “overweight” and unhealthy, obsessed with work and negligent with his personal life. Goodman condemns the lifestyle that Phil leads by proving negative and poignant illustrations. Phil attempts to be the best and most important worker to his company. Phil has made his family non-existent in his life because of his over-working habits. They are no longer the important aspect of his life as all focus shifts to himself to become important to others who seemingly don’t care about him. Helen’s response to a company friend stating, “I know how much you will miss him,” with “I already have” shows the significance of her and the family moving on from Phil and his workaholic self. Later, while attending Phil’s funeral, the company president asks, “Who’s been working the hardest?” and provides the audience a sense that nobody noticed Phil’s hard work and dedication to the company, making Phil appear invisible to the people he was intending to impress. By doing this, Goodman illustrates the

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