Naked Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Naked.
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Naked Summary & Study Guide Description

Naked Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Naked by David Sedaris.

Naked by David Sedaris is a collection of seventeen humor-laden essays. In true Sedaris fashion, each essay is a vignette detailing some traumatic and bizarre experience in the author's life. Although the vignettes stand up on their own, the collection gives a deep insight into Sedaris' mind and personality. Regardless of a person's beliefs or sexual preference, Sedaris' work consistently strikes the reader's funny bone. Even though many of the experiences Sedaris details are outlandish, everyone can recall a traumatic elementary school experience or embarrassment at the inappropriate antics of a family member.

There are many stories from the author's childhood, portraying a gruff father and a hard drinking, smoking mother. The mother, Sharon Sedaris, appears in more of the essays and one becomes acquainted with the woman's peculiar style of parenting. There always seems to be a cigarette and cocktail in hand, backed up with sarcastic and at times, cruel humor. It becomes readily apparent that the Sedaris children take after their beloved mother.

There are six Sedaris children; David is number two in the mix. Many stories involved the other Sedaris children, showing that each has a sense of sarcastic humor and intelligence. Aside from the parents, the two most talked about siblings are Lisa and Amy. The girls seem to become their brother's partner in crime and vice versa, even if it is an unwilling partnership. In Dinah the Christmas Whore, Lisa commandeers David into rescuing Dinah from an abusive boyfriend when David would much rather retreat to his room and spend the evening aligning the items on his dresser. As the children grow up, Amy and David become partners in business as well, exploiting their many childhood traumas and turning them into raucous comedy.

Through the vignettes, Sedaris manages to give the reader an insight into a childhood filled with peculiar and erratic behaviors and experiences involving a cast of bizarre characters. It is obvious that Sedaris loves to exaggerate but the stories are written so that one cannot tell where the story ends and the embellishment begins.

The most somber piece in the book is the story titled "Ashes." The piece recounts Lisa's marriage and Mrs. Sedaris' death caused by cancer. The Sedaris family is not an affectionate one and the children's need to appreciate their mother makes it difficult to weather the situation. Mrs. Sedaris wants everything to be as normal as possible but it is too difficult for the children to realize that they will never be all together ever again.

The experiences in Naked are often strange and fascinating, often traumatic, and always very humorous.

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