Jessica Mitford’s, “The Story of Service,” covers the guidelines of “servicing” the deceased. There is a list of procedures in which a corpse is to be prepared before an actual ceremony. Thousands of dollars are put into a funeral service including the ceremony itself, the embalming of the dead, and the burial. Mitford argues if the undertakers are being paid enough for the service they do. They end up putting in more hours than recorded and get paid less for the amount of time they put into their work. The amount of stress is not added into the cost of a funeral service considering the Funeral Directors have to deal with the mourning of friends and family of the deceased.
Mitford Claim: “In general, the funeral salesman is inclined to chuck in everything he does under the heading of “service.”” (42)
Agree: The funeral salesman should keep a list of everything in which does to contribute to the deceased, including supervising those who have lost their loved ones.
Mitford Claim: “The funeral service profession of the United States is proud that there is not a person within the continental limits of the United States who is more than two hours away from a licensed funeral director and embalmer. That’s one that even the firefighting apparatus of our country cannot match.” (42-43)
Disagree: You cannot compare the work of a funeral service professional to a firefighter; one that saves lives daily, while risking their own.
Mitford Claim: “His self-imposed duties fall into two main categories: attention to the corpse itself, and the stage managing of the funeral.” (43)
Agree: The funeral service professional has to monitor everything that is going on before, after, and during the ceremony. He has to make sure the body is presented in a respectable manor and keep the family in line.
Mitford Claim: “The purpose of embalming is to make the corpse presentable for viewing in a suitably costly container; and here too the funeral direction routinely, without first consulting the family, prepares the body for public display.” (43)
Disagree: The embalmer must run this by the family before going through with procedure. This process could be going against religions and cause problems, specifically legal ones.