September 2, 2012
“Us and Them”
1. The title of David Sedaris’s piece “Us and Them” refers to the Tomkey family and the author’s family. The family which is considered “them” is the Tomkey family. In this piece we are meant to sympathize with the Tomkey’s because of the author’s harsh and unreasonable judgment of them. I know this because of the tone of the piece and the word usage which the author incorporates. 2. The memoir “Us and Them” definitely tells a very intriguing and surprising story. It uses sensory details, and makes the reader feel connected to the author’s feelings. I believe “Us and Them” constitutes a good story because not only was it humorous and entertaining, it also used many literary elements to help elaborate on the details of the story. 3. The handwritten signs described by Sedaris help to elaborate on the differences between the two families, and the extreme judgment that Sedaris has towards the Tomkeys. The sign on the Tomkey’s door was most likely a humorous way of saving the candy so that all the trick or treater’s would have some. The sign on Sedaris’s bag explains his selfish nature and his inability to accept and share with anyone who is different from him. 4. Sedaris’s stance in this piece could be described as one-sided and very judgmental. Sedaris does not have the ability to accept others and believes the Tomkey’s are not worthy of his friendship. Sedaris is very set in his ways and also holds a very selfish stance in this piece. In the text, the way he responds to the Halloween events and the way he speaks of their lack of television proves how critical he is.