Irony In The Company Man Essay


Throughout the passage, Goodman employs a sense of bitterness and hostility when speakingabout Phil, often criticizing him about his faults. The first example of the bitterness shown is on lines 20-26  she purposefully capitalizes Important People to show that he really wasnt that all important toanyone. Goodman then goes on to criticize him on his interests, what he ate, and his physical attributes  this criticism of Phils characteristics gives the passage a tone of bitterness towards Phil. Yet againGoodman criticizes Phil on lines 73-76  attacking again his weight, nervousness, work ethics, and evengoes on to label him as though he were destined to die sooner because he looked like a Type A/ heartattack natural. All of these examples stress the frustration and annoyance Goodman has with Phil andhow he chooses to have lived his horrible life. While on the other hand, Goodman uses numbers todescribe her attitudes of dislike towards Phil.To show how much Phil was just another unimportant numerical figure to readers, Goodmansaturates the passage with numbers of dates, times and years to get the point across. Throughout thepassage Goodman explains how he worked six days a week at the age of fifty-one and being overweightby twenty or twenty-five pounds until he dies at 3:00 A.M. This stresses the importance of the numbersshowing the insignificant value of Phil; he is just another number in the pool of millions. Goodman likesto stress the use of the numbers, especially the time he dies at by using it three times throughout thepassage. More precisely, Goodman intentionally writes out the words to the numbers on lines 65-68 toshow the exact opposite of what she wrote  he didnt ever mean much to the company or his family.So by using this technique along with the other two, Goodman manages to illustrate her attitudes of dislike for Phil.Through the various literary techniques from the passage, The Company Man, by EllenGoodman, it is shown that Goodman uses three techniques to describe her hatred, frustration,annoyance, dislike, and bitterness towards Phil. Goodman illustrates how much Phil screwed up his life

Unformatted text preview: 1 64321 Ms. Fox AP Language and Composition 13 January 2016 Analysis Essay In the satirical passage of “The Company Man” by Ellen Goodman, she uses Phil’s life as a symbol of Corporate America. Phil is portrayed as routine, indifferent, and almost robotic. He’s described as a dead man who never truly lived. She conveys a sarcastically bitter attitude towards Phil through her use of statistics, sarcasm and syntax, and details. Goodman remains impersonal throughout the entire passage; leaving characters nameless and defined by simple numbers. Each new body brought into discussion is introduced by their age, “Phil, fifty-one years old” and “Helen, twenty-four,” mirroring the mindset that every person has an expiration date. Everyone is replaceable. The use stats and repetition is continued as Goodman describes his death, dying “precisely, at 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning” to make his life and death seem like clockwork and mediocre. Phil’s fleeting existence is further affirmed when at “5:00 p.m. the afternoon of the funeral, the company president” had started to search for a replacement for Phil. Two hours after the funeral began, he is already being forgotten. Goodman uses syntax to contradict claims and refute any sense of humanity within Phil multiple times throughout her recollection of his death. When she describes Phil as having a simple heart attack, she uses complex diction of “coronary thrombosis.” After declaring his cause of death in a scientific way, she uses a sentence break to express false doubt to seem disinterested. She then describes through diction that “everyone…knew it instantly” indicating 2 that his death was an expected one and not in the least surprising. She then comes back to the topic of the cause of death in order to attack him by describing Phil as “overweight” and a “heart-attack natural” through the use of diction, once again showing that he had it coming. Goodman also shows through her use of sarcasm, “He worked like the Important People,” clearly portraying through her use of capitalization for “Important People” that Phil was not considered important to the corporate eye but considered rather insignificant. This is biting because Goodman makes a point to express that Phil put work above his family, resulting in a frayed relationship with them, only to die as another figure in a corporate report. Despite the entire passage being set around Phil, Goodman is rather to-the-point when it comes to Phil, using short and definite sentences to describe his daily routine. “He was a Type A, a workaholic, a classic” and “To Phil, it was work” left no room for argument or refute. However, when it came to his family, they received lengthy and detailed sentences to show her pity for them for their absent father/husband. The repeated diction of “dearly beloved” is sarcastic and bitterly ironic because Phil is the type of father and husband who would never refer to his family as “dearly beloved.” Phil is portrayed through the eyes of Goodman as a man of no substance. He goes through the motions of life with no meaning. Goodman spends more of her time expressing pity towards Phil’s family instead of focusing on Phil himself. Despite his existence being perceivably tragic, it is shown as routine and boring through Goodman’s sarcastic aftercomments and bitter portrayal of his overall death. Phil can be described as an empty shell of a human being, amounting to nothing in the end. All people can see him now is as ink on paper. ...
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