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Us and Them by David Sedaris

In this essay, television, figures as a tradition that has changed how people bond. It is considered as a ‘must have’ commodity by a third grader from whose angle this story has been written. But if we delve into the deeper meaning, we would see that television has been figured by the author as a means of taking away the ‘us time’ from a majority of families. Instead of taking their dinner with each other, they have started taking it with the TV. So it has been figured as a hindrance to a well-knit family life. Television has been mentioned in most of the significant moments of the essay.

It is mentioned to describe how it negatively affects the family life of the author and how its absence enhances the family life of the author’s neighbors. It is also mentioned to describe how it proves to be a source of knowledge for those who possess it and an object of ignorance for those who do not possess it. The author seems to be using a humoristic approach towards the importance of TV in people’s life. He seems to be pointing towards the fact that how it has become a center of attraction for the entire family and how its absence in one of our known families fills us with curiosity as to why they don’t own it.

He points out that TV has become so important for us that we make it’news’ when somebody does not have it. This is the author’s main point and in a subtle manner he tries to explain how this technological advancement has changed our style of living and spending our leisure time, which is detrimental to our family life. The author chooses this ending for the essay to highlight the message that we should not look down upon others, as one stupid act of ours can change the whole scenario and people might look down upon us instead.

So instead of finding faults in others and spending our time unnecessarily on this, we should try to find our own faults and work towards minimizing them in order to enhance our character and mannerisms.

Works cited

Beyond School. Webcam Reflections for Summer Reading (and a Little Fun with David Sedaris). 2007. 3rd June 2009 < http://beyond-school. org/2007/06/20/webcam-reflections-for-summer-reading-and-a-little-fun-with-david-sedaris/>

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