A Day in the Life of "Salaryman" | Major English – XII



A Day in the Life of “Salaryman”

– John Burgess

Background (With the compassion of 2 different stories)



A slave is a person who works extremely hard under a horrible condition. He also needs to work for a long time but with very limited benefit. In George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, Orwell says that the dishwasher is a slave. However, is not salary-man in “A Day in the Life of Salary-man” by John Burgess also a slave? Actually, the answer is no. In my opinion, dishwasher is a slave, but salary-man is not.

First of all, their working hours are distinctly different. According to Orwell, George works from seven in the morning until a quarter past nine at night for six days a week. Sometimes he has to go to work on his off day too. Differently, salary-man only works from ten past nine in the morning till seven in the evening for only five days, and he does not need to work on his off days. The lunch break of Salary-man and dishwasher are different too. As George says, “This was our slack time-only relatively slack, however, for we had only ten minutes for lunch, and we never got through it uninterrupted” (Orwell 64). In contrast, salary-man has much more time than dishwasher during the lunch break. The salary-man does more things during this break than the dishwasher does. Over lunch, “they talk of their passion, golf…… At lunch, salary-man sometimes manages to stop into a driving range on the roof of a building near his company……” (Burgess 255). Moreover, salary-man and dishwasher’s lives after work are totally different. For dishwasher, he has nothing to do after work because he has only few hours left and not even enough for sleeping. Nevertheless, the salary-man has a good life after work. He may have been included in a dinner at a nearby restaurant and enjoy his moment.

And the writer thus, compares and tabulates a single day life in the story by giving the following distinct background in the lines that follows.