What outstanding traits does Mr. Martin posses?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Martin has been with the same firm in Manhattan for twenty-two years, which shows that he is a man who values security, permanence, regularity, and organization, among other things. It is significant that he is the head of the filing department because this department requires accuracy and dependability. Martin is quiet, patient, intelligent, ultra-conservative, abstemious, mild-mannered, and inhibited. He does not show his thoughts or feelings. Ulgine Barrows annoys him because she is such a different type and because he is afraid she may be thinking of reorganizing his department after she gets through wrecking a few others. However, he does not betray his feelings. One of his assistants tells him, "Why, I even believe you like the woman." (This sounds like Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado.) His assistant's observation comes at a time when he is actually beginning to think about murdering Ulgine Barrows, and is intended to suggest that no one would ever suspect him of the crime. All of Martin's character traits work in his favor when he abandons his initial murder scheme and pretends to be a dissolute drinker, smoker, and  dope addict who is planning to kill their employer with a bomb.