The Sandwich Factory
Back in 1904 Henry Ford introduced the modern assembly line at Ford Motor Company and became recognized as its father. The assembly line became a significant factor in mass production because it helped raise productivity and efficiency. Efficiency is measured by a comparison of production with cost, and is still very important to activities in our time. But when profit weights more than the conditions of the employees it has consequences for those who cannot seem to adapt themselves to the life at the factory.
As the title indicates, the short story “The Sandwich Factory” by Jason Kennedy takes place at a factory where sandwiches are being manufactured, where the narrator, whose name is unknown, has taken a job. First of all it is important to notice that the short story is told in a first person narrative, so we as readers must bear in mind and take into account that the narrator may not be 100% reliable. When studying the narrator, it becomes clear that there is an obvious contrast between our narrator’s personality and the job he has chosen. He mentions reading novels by Camus, a French philosopher and the writer of “The Myth of Sisyphus”. He reads French philosophy but has a job that requires absolutely no mental activity. Further more he describes how he listens to Joy Division to “[compensate] for the lack on meaning in the coming shift” (p. 2, ll. 5.6). He clearly knows that his job has no greater meaning. But compared to his co-workers, he seems like the most normal employee at the factory. In the beginning of the short story he mentions a mad kid who “would leer through a hatch and wave a knife at [him]” (p. 2, l. 3) and later on he introduces us to Dot, who “gave blow jobs in and around the Embassy, a seedy night club she went to each week” (p. 3, ll. 38-39). They are both portrayed as bizarre persons with bizarre personalities. Overall the narrator describes the workers as bored and unhappy, and the other employees seem to...
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