Summary / Reaction
“The 400-Pound CEO” by George Saunders tells the journey of an ordinary overweight male. He slaves away at a dead end job openly ridiculed by his colleagues for his size, his love life is non-existent, and he goes through life hoping only for the end. Jeffery was not always four hundred pounds, he slowly let himself go. The lower his confidence got, the higher the number on his scale read. His life is basically a facade. His job is to fool housewives into thinking their pests are going to a “better place” when in actuality they get savagely murdered. He also has to go through his days acting like he is cool with having no other half, the opposite sex see him as nonexistent. So he turns to food to comfort him. Jeffery’s life seems to take an ...view middle of the document...
As much as she annoys him Jeffery flies off the handle when he sees his jerk boss, Tim, threaten her. Because of his size he easily kills him and allows the girl to escape. With Tim out of the way, he hands the business over to himself and runs the company how he sees fit. They will finally do what they claim with the animals and employees will be treated with the utmost respect. Finally, Freeda is all over him when she smells power. His reign is short-lived and Jeffrey is promptly arrested.
Even though I enjoyed the “400-Pound CEO” the most out of Saunder’s collection, I cannot say I relate to Jeffery in the slightest. Sure, everyone has had the intimidating boss and taken the verbal blows but I can’t see ever feeling defeated and given up on life. If I set a goal, I cannot get it out of my mind and I take the steps to reach it. I could never go through life with a job I hate, a boss I hate, or love someone I have zero chance with. Maybe it is because I am young, maybe it is the stubbornness I have deeply rooted in me. Jeffery gave up on his weight and slowly went from “exuberant sportsman” to “as big as a house”, like his father put it. He gave women completely and he gave up on standing up to his boss until he finally killed him. Killing someone is never an escape but for those few hours, Jeffery got to be his “true self”, unfortunately it was short lived. The character that caught my eye was the animal rights activist. She seemed like as big of a nuisance as the raccoons to the Humane Raccoon Alternatives company. She stirred up trouble and posed a threat of exposure. Every once in a while, someone like that comes into our lives and threatens what we feel comfortable with. Yes, it seems annoying but it is actually what we need to give ourselves a jumpstart to positively change our lives. Unlike Jeffery, I will not need to strangle my boss to give myself a wake up call.