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Analysis of “The Company Man” by Ellen Goodman

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    In Ellen Goodman’s “The Company Man” the brief items on the family members and the presidents of the company tell the readers many things about themselves and Phil. This essay shows how a workaholic is too involved with working to be with his family. Phil’s wife, Helen, feels she lost him to his work years ago. This is made clear when a friend approaches her and says, “I know how much you will miss him.” Helen then replies, “I already have.” This just goes to show how Phil’s work was his life and his life was his work. He has no time to be with his family and give them good memories. He was too busy focusing everything on work. His children barely knew him, nor did his coworkers know anything about him. Even the president of his company felt no grief from the death of his vice president. He goes on to tell Helen that Phil “meant must to the company and would be missed and would be hard to replace.” Yet at five o’clock the night of the funeral he is already looking for a replacement. It’s as if Phil has been gone for days. His oldest son even resorted to going to the neighbors to find out what his father was like. He never got to know Phil in the way a father and son should. His daughter seemed to have nothing in common with her father. All three of his children suffered from Phil’s obsession with working. His family was just a mere background in his life and his work was priority. Being seen as the enemy, Greg Graffin, got a sense of his own power because he wasnt afraid to be different. He believed that being punk was something that put him above other people. Graffin was one of three punkers as his high school. Even though they had a record made and were on the radio people still didnt like them. They were different then the other kids at school and were beat up because of this. This is what made him feel a sense of power. Graffin wasnt afraid to be himself, he didnt want to fit in with all the others. Those who were conformists were weak in his eyes. He believes, they could be easily pushed to the point where they lost control.Bibliography:

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