The Business Man
The narrator of the story is Peter Proffit, a "methodical" businessman by his own admission. He says a nurse swung him around when he was a young boy, and he bumped himself on the head against a bedpost. That single event determined his fate: the resulting bump was in the area dedicated to system and regularity, according to phrenology.The story is a satire and is often interpreted as a reflection of Poe's strained relationship with his foster father John Allan, himself a successful businessman. The story also satirizes businesspeople in general, suggesting that their success is not due to their method of punctuality and self-discipline but because of ruthless business practices, violence, egotism, and pure chance. Poe also calls to question the concept of a "self-made man", expressing skepticism that such a concept is possible. Like "The Man That Was Used Up", another of Poe's satires, this man is essentially hollow and worthless.
The Business Man is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe about a fictitious businessman boasting of his accomplishments. It was published in February 1840 in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. The story questions the concept of a self-made man.
The creatures are always going off at a tangent into some fantastic employment, or ridiculous speculation, entirely at variance with the “fitness of things,” and having no business whatever to be considered as a business at all.
I was saved from being a “respectable hardware and commission merchant, doing a capital bit of business,” and I felt grateful to the protuberance which had been the means of my salvation, as well as to the kindhearted female who had originally put these means within my reach.
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The Business Man