David Sedaris’ “Diary of a Smoker” uses character, plot, setting, sensory details and dialogue to convey the story of a smoker. His description and tone bring the reader closer to the story with each paragraph.
Sedaris uses character to introduce the smoker, the annoying woman from the park, the doctor and Hugh the roommate. Characters are what make a story in all contexts. As readers we all need someone we can relate to in order to be interested. As a reader of this story I am confused on the gender of the smoker. When I read it the first time I was sure it was a woman but now as I look back over it for details I find myself questioning my original thought. Regardless of gender the smoker is a character that many readers can identify with. I identify most with the annoying woman from the park. Had that been me I would have done the same thing, smoking is not as accepted as it used to be.
The plot is really the “why” of the story. Why is the smoker so bothered by the woman’s request to stop smoking in the park? The smoker states that “aggressive nonsmokers feel they are doing you a favor by not allowing you to smoke. They think that one day you will thank them for those precious fifteen seconds they just added to your life”. This shows how much they are bothered by the comment. This launches the smoker into a rant about the women’s sandals and how he/she hates them and what they symbolize. With all the pressure around the smoker to stop smoking, why don’t they? After a certain point it seems as though they are just trying to prove a point against society.
Setting plays an important role in this story. The way Sedaris describes his scenes right down to detail brings the reader in so close. The park for instance, as I read the paragraph I could see the image he painted with his words as clear as day in my mind. It takes a very powerful writer to do that. Sedaris also goes into great detail with the doctors office, where you can...