A Shiner Like a Diamond

             In "A Shiner Like a Diamond" David Sedaris satirically portrays the dysfunctional relationship between his father and his sister Amy. Throughout Amy's life her father relentlessly monitors her physical appearance with the "intensity of a pimp" (26); he believes that a woman's physical beauty is her greatest asset. Amy is naturally a strong independent woman and in response to her father's "vigilance and pressure" (26) she decides not to be angry with her father, but simply to get even. Her methods of getting even focus on her weight and physical appearance; Amy is naturally beautiful and she pretends to have gained weight and wears make-up to appear as a battered woman in a magazine photo shoot. Amy also subjects her father to practical jokes attempting to make him look like a fool. Sedaris uses irony and sarcasm throughout this dark essay; Amy emerges as a complex and obscure character who endlessly manipulates her well-meaning father, thus the reader sympathizes greatly with him and not with her.
             Amy's father had always placed a great deal of importance on the physical beauty of his daughters; however, his sons were "free to grow as ugly and plump as [they] liked (26). Being a traditional man, the father believed that a woman's only chance at happiness was to marry. The father believed that to marry you must be physically beautiful. He constantly reminds his daughters to be conscious of their weight: "Jesus, Flossie, what are we running here, a dairy farm? Look at you, you're the size of a house. Two more pounds and you won't be able to cross state lines without a trucking license" (26). The father's comments about his daughter's weight were frequent, whenever they stopped by for a visit, he would greet them with "Is it just my imagination, or have you put on a few pounds?" (30). The tone used here by Sedaris is very sarcastic, allowing the reader to find the situation humourous rather than cruel and oppressive. Altho...

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A Shiner Like a Diamond. (1969, December 31). In MegaEssays.com. Retrieved 18:43, May 13, 2021, from https://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/81915.html