Ellen Goodman wrote “The Company Man” to show us that _____PURPOSE________. She does this in an obscure way. If we look closely at this piece we can find the underlying meaning.
ADD ON? Her essay lets us not only learn about the sad life of a company man who represents many people in a bustling society, but also feel what his life was like.
ADD ON? Phil worked himself to death and didn’t know his family. The neighbors didn’t know him either.
ADD ON? People work so hard and then die. They are easily replaced. Phil needed to spend time with his family.
Ellen Goodman uses an arsenal of rhetorical strategies to demonstrate her sentiments towards the main character, Phil -- one of the few, cold individuals able to march robotically through life, frigidly and indifferently pursuing the forever unseen pinnacle of success. Phil, to Goodman, embodies Corporate America. The descriptions of Phil in The Company Man are sardonically accusatory of the present way people live in society.
Phil maintains a 70-hour work week and eats egg salad sandwiches at his desk. His death is seen as unsurprising by the people who knew him, and they did nothing more than shake their heads when they heard the news. Phil's character is seemingly insignificant. Goodman mentions that Phil was "fifty-one years old, and a vice president". No one really cared about him even though he seemed important to his company.
Revised Body Paragraph??
The author makes light of the fact that Phil is a heart attack waiting to happen, and that he maintains a 70-hour work week, by mentioning the simple fact that he eats egg salad sandwiches. His death is seen as unsurprising by the people who knew him, and they did nothing more than shake their heads when they heard the news. Phil's character is seemingly insignificant. Goodman mentions that Phil was "fifty-one years old, and a vice president". With this, she leads the reader to believe that Phil had a very influential role on his company. The subsequent line, however, reveals that "He was, however, one of six vice presidents." In the ending lines, as well, this portrayal of insignificance reoccurs when the CEO of Phil's company turns away from telling Phil's widow that he will be missed, and immediately begins looking for his replacement.
When the author makes light of Phil’s life, she shows us the insignificance of any person’s life if that person chooses to be consumed by work. Phil lived to work. Goodman sees this as a problem and shows us that, in the end, things and jobs move on and people live on. This makes us ask ourselves where we are leaving our impression on the world, or rather who we have impressed in the world.