David Sedaris 21 Down Analysis

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Author David Sedaris, writes “21 Down”, a short essay about The New York Times crossword puzzles and the role it plays in his life as well as the lives of others. Sedaris describes in detail the bitter truth about the search for recognition, getting older, and the fear of loneliness that comes with it. Sedaris uses contradictory tone against himself between his need for superiority and self criticism which exposes his personal struggles with his identity. He also appeals to the pathos of the audience by using self-deprecating comments throughout his essay to emphasize his feelings of self doubt and insecurity that the reader can easily relate too. Lastly he uses his renowned tone of sarcasm and humor to bring to light serious topics that aren't commonly talked about while promoting a lighthearted way to deal with your issues. Sedaris starts by posing himself as an intellectual who looks down upon those who are only“limited to doing puzzles in People magazine” (Sedaris 201) and criticizes his former boyfriend saying “it’s simply unfair for…show more content…
He shows this when he manages to complete his first Monday puzzle and his sarcastic imagined response from a stranger ,“You mean to say you’re only forty years old and you completed this puzzle all by yourself? Why, that’s practically unheard-of!” (Sedaris 203). Sedaris uses this made up scenario to bring out his underlining battle with not knowing who he is and the self loath he deals with leaving readers with no choice but to laugh at Sedaris’s experiences and thoughts. The audience gets a better look at what Sedaris is thinking of and how his personal conflicts affect him. Although he deals with constant self criticism he is about to talk about it in a sarcastic and funny manner causing the reader to laugh at their own insecurities rather than hate and stress about
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