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Joshua Ferris in his novel ‘Then We Came to the End’ uses the first person plural ‘we’ to narrate the stories of the people working at the Chicago advertising firm and express their collective fear, demons and desperation. For example, he says, “We were fractious and…
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Response Chapter One Joshua Ferris in his novel ‘Then We Came to the End’ uses the first person plural ‘we’ to narrate the stories of the people working at the Chicago advertising firm and express their collective fear, demons and desperation. For example, he says, “We were fractious and overpaid. Our morning lacked promise.” The novel is told through groupthink, water cooler banter and behind the closed door meetings of the agency’s employees who are painted by the narrator as overly paranoid, overly medicated, overly panicked and overly depressed.
Chapter Two
The novel’s setting takes place in a Chicago advertising firm that is suffering the repercussions of the dotcom slump. The narrator spins the story around several occurrences at the office. These range from the worsening situation of the company caused by leaving of the clients which subsequently leads to the firing of the employees; to personal issues faced by the employees such as Amber’s unexpected pregnancy, speculation about personal life, death, illness, fear of work place violence, Benny’s totem-pole dilemma, Carl’s depression and pharmaceutical abuse as well as the disintegration by Chris over his chair issues. The story culminates with the discovery that the cool-headed Lynn is dying of cancer.
Chapter Three
I feel that the ‘we’ connotation used by the narrator is questionable to some extent. This is because even though the narrator uses the plural pronoun ‘we’ to narrate the story and insinuate a sense of solidarity at the workplace, this is far from the truth as the coworkers know every little about each other and are unable to maintain genuine long-term relationships at the workplace.
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Joshua Ferris. Then We Came to the End. United States of America: Little, Brown and Company Read More
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