Quitters Inc.

by Steven King


The theme about "Quitters Inc." involves concepts such as priorities and values in a single persons life. In the beginning of the story, Morrison is shocked at the options that he is given. Either never smoke again, or put your wife and son through undeserved pain and discomfort. Although he appears appalled, he still debates the validity of the threats, and toys with the idea of one more cigarette. However, as the plot continues, he appreciates his son and wife more and more, and is strengthened by the love and support from his wife. He is able to get past his smoking addiction, by prioritizing his job and family over his desire for a cigarette in his life.
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The main conflict in the story "Quitters Inc." involves a man by the name of Richard Morrison, who is trying to break his detrimental smoking habits. He was pointed to a smoker quitting business, by one of his good friends, Jimmy McCann. The business tells him that he will be constantly watched for a given amount of time, and from there will be watched occasionally throughout the day, but he will never know when. Each time he is seen smoking, they will inflict pain upon his retarded son, his wife, or himself. The more offenses that he commits, the worse the punishments will become. He mainly struggles with internal conflict, as he struggles with the realism of the situation that he put himself in. Morrison is constantly balancing the risk of putting himself and his family in danger, versus smoking one more cigarette.

Plot Line


The exposition starts in the beginning of the story when Morrison is sitting at the bar, and sees a good friend by the name of Jim McCann. Jim McCann used to be a smoker, and so he tells Morrison about a business that helped him to quit his smoking addiction.

-Rising Action:

The rising action begins when Morrison decides to go to the business and see what they have to offer. He has no idea what to expect, but he goes just to see what they do to him or how they offer to help him.


The climax is when Morrison decides to smoke a cigarette briefly, and after realizing his mistake he returns to the house. Once he is at his house, he gets a call from Donatti, who tells him that they had captured Morrison's wife. He asks Morrison to come and pick her up... after watching her endure pain.

-Falling Action:

The falling action is when Morrison explains his situation with Quitters Inc. to her, after she has been electrocuted. Although she was originally crying to him about how she was "kidnapped" and "tortured", after he explains it to her, she feels much better.


The resolution is when Morrison's wife explains to him, that she was happy for him to be quitting, and that she is able to put all the pain and discomfort that she experienced aside, if it makes him stop quitting. She tells him that she is able to do it because she loves him, and that is when Morrison realizes that love is capable of overcoming everything, whether it be an addiction, or pain and sacrifice. The story then skips ahead eight months later to a situation in which Morrison promotes the business to one of his smoking friends. He does that, because he although he was originally skeptical of the business, he is able to accept that it changed his life.

Why should you read it?

If you are looking for a short story with an intense build up to the climax, and interesting twists in the plot and excellent internal conflict, then this story is for you. "Quitters Inc." does an excellent job at keeping the reader interested by constantly adding twists in the story plot, and adding drama by making Morrison's situation almost unreal, yet possible.


"Quitters Inc." does not use a lot of literary devices, but it uses symbolism when Donatti uses a bunny rabbit as a place holder for the electricity torture that was intended for Morrison's wife. The bunny was not being tortured for any reason, but was rather being used as a placeholder for Morrison's wife so that he could see the the extent of the pain and discomfort he would be putting his wife through. Donatti explains his intentions, "Oh no, Donatti said. Your wife gets the rabbit trick, not you." As you can see in the quote, the "rabbit trick" is just a placeholder for the torture his wife, as opposed to the rabbit being tortured every time.