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The Company Man

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The Company Man AP Essay Ms. Goodman’s attitude towards Phil, the work-aholic subject of her column is that of disgust, disappointment, and ridicule. She’s sarcastically saddened that he wasted his life and ignored his children for his job and executive status. She hints that the obituary does not accurately describe Phil.

The author is cynical in order to get the point across that Phil was not a loving father or family man. She uses rhetoric to persuade the reader to give second thought to the obituary’s nice way of calling Phil’s children “dearly beloved” because, in fact, Phil was not very close to them. His oldest son hardly knew him, daughter never had a decent conversation with him, and youngest son finally caught his father’s attention after years of trying.

Goodman even indicates a feeling of “good riddance” while describing Phil. She also shows her disgust that there are many more people like him, eager to replace him on the corporate ladder. This leads the reader to notice the irony of Phil’s reality versus actual life. At work, Phil is convinced that he is an all-important critical asset to the company. He’d be surprised to know that after his death he will be replaced without a blink of an eye.

Goodman chose to express her feelings and warn others about a growing problem in American society by openly criticizing Phil in her column. Her most effective rhetorical devices are sarcasm and persuasion to convey a mutual disappointment in Phil and the thousands of over-achieving professionals who are neglecting their responsibilities as parents and partners.

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