Us and Them
by David Sedaris

In a 250-300 word piece of writing, answer the following question in paragraph form:

What is the author's purpose in writing Us and Them?

The following questions are meant to help generate ideas for your written piece. Remember, you are presenting your answer in paragraphs: do not hand in a "question-answer; question: answer" type of assignment:

  • Did you enjoy, or identify with, the story in any way?

  • Had you read any similar stories in previous classes?

  • Did either of the two families remind you of other fictitious or real life families?

  • How would you describe the Tomkeys?

  • Find a few instances where the Tomkeys are made fun of?

  • How would you describe the Sedaris?

  • How is television presented on the story's surface?

  • What do the Tomkeys represent on a societal level?

  • What do the Sedaris represent on a societal level?

  • Who or what is David Sedaris ultimately criticizing in this story?

  • What literary device does he use to offer up is criticism?

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