Theme Of The Sandwich Factory

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Pages: 6

The Sandwich Factory
By Jason Kennedy

The main theme of the short story The Sandwich Factory is the mechanization of human beings. The plot takes place in 1994 at a sandwich factory and we meet the narrator who works there. Through him we get the impression that the employees are no longer considered humans or individuals, but just one of many. The factory threatens to turn human beings into machines by thwarting the development of their emotions and imaginations and in the end of the story the narrator realizes that he doesn’t want to be a part of the factory. The narrator in this short story is a 1 st person narrator who restricts his own view to the factory. It is important to remember that we hear his thoughts and his opinion, and
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“I entertained a vision of one day being rich and hiring a bunch of faded paunchy managers (…) I’d yell in the megaphone…”4 He begins to imagine himself being rich and being in charge some day and loves the thought of being the boss and treat the managers the same way they treat him and the workers. The managers treat the workers in the factory as emotionless objects that are easily exploited for their own self-interest. An example of that is in the end of the story when the narrator faints by the conveyor belt and where he imagines a manager saying: “Make sure he doesn’t stagger into a machine and kill himself. We don’t need a lawsuit.”5 This indicates as I mentioned before that the managers only think about themselves and don’t treat the employees as human beings and this becomes the last straw for the narrator. He is lucky to escape and avoid ending up like Dot and Madman. The chosen theme from my interpretation above can be put into perspective with Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times where he exposes Coketown to stand for the negative aspects of industrialism and the mechanization of human beings. In the description we see the monotonous work with the same work, pavements, hours etc. which results in mechanization of the workers and sometimes madness like in The Sandwich Factory where each person’s identity are destroyed. The picture Relativity from 1953 is also a very good example of how a factory can be. The picture throws light on a working day at a factory and