"death in the freezer"

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Throughout the passage of “The Company Man” by Ellen Goodman, Goodman looks down on workaholic Phil. This is conveyed through the bitter, criticizing, and sarcastic tone when speaking about Phil. The reader can clearly see her bitter tone towards the company man when she states, “He worked like the Important People”. The sarcastic tone that Goodman uses, emphasizes his work efforts, revealing in lines.. 20-26 that the company man was not so important to the company after all. We see this attitude again when Goodman mentions the three choices for his replacement towards the end. When describing Phil’s daily routine, her sentences are short and definitive, showing her bitterness for Phil. “To Phil, it was work. He always ate egg salad sandwiches at his desk….On Saturdays, Phil wore a sports jacket to the office instead of a suit, because it was the weekend.” Goodman then goes on to criticize him on his interests, what he ate, and his physical attributes in lines 73-76. She even goes on to label him as though he were destined to die sooner because he looked like a Type A/ heart attack natural. All of these examples show how Goodman looks down at the way Phil chooses to have lived his horrible life. Though Phil is an “Important Person” at his workplace, at home he really isn’t anyone to his family, despite being called his dearly beloved family. By falsely labeling Phil’s family, Goodman makes use of sarcasm to show that Phil wasn’t really present much at all at home. The first example of the various quotes occurs first on line 34 with survivors, proclaiming that these people were his survivors; though they technically were, his family didn’t even behave like they were survivors because they knew nothing about him. The second example is on line 45 with dearly beloved being used to label his child as being truly loved by him,when actually that is the total opposite since he was never around to show that love. Lastly on line 42, missing him all these years, is used to show that even before his death, she already missed him because to her he seemed already dead, in the sense that he was never around. Thus, the sarcastic quotes riddled throughout the passage show how Goodman uses sarcasm to bring out the truth behind what Phil’s life choices brought on and how it affected his family.


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