Corporate Power and the Public Good in Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Stefanie Mueller


Abstract: This essay explores the relationship between the State, the economy, and the individual in Sloan Wilson’s novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955). The novel’s depiction of the protagonist’s experience of the military, corporate culture, and the family suggests that a functioning democracy depends on the hetero-normative family. At the same time the novel draws attention to the negative impact of corporate philanthropy and public relations work on the public sphere.


Corporations in fiction; philanthropy; publicity

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