Quitters, Inc.

By Stephen King


Dick Morrison, a man who is a heavy smoker with no motivation to quit, runs into an old friend, Jimmy McCann. As Morrison pulls out a cigarette, McCann tells him he has quit in a way that changed his life. Morrison, who thinks he is incurable, is given the business card of the place the McCann tells him to go to. Forgetting about it for months until the business card falls out of his wallet, he figures "why not? I have nothing to lose", and walks to the office building. He waits in a lobby until he is told to go into the office, where he meets Vic Donatti, his "doctor" of sorts. Later, at a second meeting, Morrison is told what the treatment, and it's a bit unorthodox. Morrison quits cold turkey, with no possibility of smoking again. Although, once, he slips, and his wife is punished, as agreed through the treatment. A year later, when the treatment is complete, Morrison is billed. He's outraged by the amount, but his wife tells him to just pay it. Months later, he runs into his friend Jimmy McCann again, he meets McCann's wife for the first time, and when shaking her hand he notices something missing.


The conflict in Quitters, Inc. Is that of an internal conflict. Although, there is a bit of external conflict. Morrison struggles with deciding weather or not to smoke. If he smokes his wife will get hurt, which he does not want this to happen. "He looked at the cigarettes in the box for almost two minutes, unable to tear his gaze away"(3) It matters to the protagonist, Morrison, and the antagonist, Donatti, because if Morrison slips up and smokes for the first time his wife gets hurt, and to Donatti, it matters because he wants Morrison to stop smoking, even if his way of doing so is unorthodox. Which is the external conflict in the story.


Figurative Language

"The little worm of jealousy in his stomach" (1)

In this part of the story Morrison is catching up with McCann, they are talking about their jobs. McCann tells Morrison that he is now the Executive Veep of the company that he works at. Morrison feels the worm of jealousy make its way through his stomach, as stated above. The author does this because he wants the reader to feel the same thing. As it's pretty common that when someone gets a little jealous of someone else they feel as though there is a worm crawling through their stomach.


Family comes first. This is shown constantly throughout this story when Morrison struggles with deciding between smoking and his wife getting hurt. He didn't want his family getting hurt on his account. As stated when characterizing Morrison, he is a family man and really cares. He also felt bad after his wife was shocked the one and only time, and he made sure to not smoke again so his son would not get hurt as well.

Compelling Aspect

To me the compelling aspect in this story is the way Stephen King has Donatti, and his company, help smokers to quit. I was totally not expecting the treatment to be what it really is. It's an interesting concept, that you don't really know what to think of. On one hand it makes total sense, while on the other it seems wrong and inhumane. It defiantly keeps you thinking even after finishing the story. It makes the story interesting, and worth reading.