David Sedaris

  1. Read the linked essay and then listen to David Sedaris read the essay.
  2. Write a paragraph on reading vs. listening. Answer the following question:
    • How did the meaning change or become more clear through listening to his reading?
  3. Find specific quotations from the story that exemplify literary terms.
    • Find quotations that represent Plot and Structure, Point of View, Character, Setting, Imagery, and Theme.
    • Remember that point of view, when used in literary analysis, is not the same as attitudes, beliefs, interpretations, etc.; it refers explicitly to who is telling the story – first-person, second-person, third-person – and how much knowledge that narrator has into other characters’ consciousnesses and how reliable he/she/they seem to be.
    • Also note that a theme in a story, for our purposes, does not mean a subject or a topic; a theme is an overall message or meaning of a story that a reader states as an observation about life in general or a recommendation for readers (not just characters).
    • List these six elements and then write a sentence explaining how the quotation demonstrates that element.
    • Example:
      Plot– “As I moved my chair a little nearer suddenly with one catlike movement both her hands clawed instinctively for my eyes and she almost reached them too.” This quotation demonstrates plot because it develops the action of the story and advances toward the climax.
    • Find a different quotation for each element, six total.