By: Stephen King
This is the doctor that Morrison sees when he goes to the clinic. He is not the definite most important character in the story, but plays a key role. He is indirectly characterized through his actions. In one scene, Morrison wants to leave the room and aggressively Donatti makes him stay. Morrison is struggling at the door of the examination room desperately wanting to get out, and after happily and politely asking Morrison to sit down, Dr. Donatti says, " 'Sit down.' The voice was as cold as shaved ice" (7). I think the way the simile came after the statement, helped me picture Dr.Donatti's character in that exact scene because he was calm and collected when Morrison is scared and struggling. This was one way the author indirectly characterized Dr.Donatti and helped show how he is threatening and cruel towards Morrison. The author did not use direct characterization on Donatti, he did a very good job of conveying the brutality and barbarity of the doctor through his actions.
Morrison is the protagonist of the story, he is married to Cindy and all around an average guy. Morrison was indirectly characterized in a lot of different ways. At the beginning he is characterized as friendly and curious. When he reunites with his old friend, he is curious about the program his friend used to quit smoking. He seemed interested and he didn't think about not going, so he simply went to the program. You can tell Morrison is loving towards his family because once they threaten to hurt his family he gets upset and throws himself at Morrison. This scene depicts anger but also the love and compassion he has for his wife because he knows he can't smoke again. Later on, he contradicts my initial kind-hearted thoughts I had about him. I thought he knew the consequences of smoking and what would happen if he broke the rule. When Morrison is stuck in traffic and he sees his pack of cigarettes.. and takes a hough... he says "If anything happens it's Cindy's fault". This scene indirectly characterized him as addicted and heartless. Later, he rushes home and realizes that Cindy is not there and he goes immediately to the clinic where they have taken her in. Here he loves and cares for her and the author indirectly conveys that he really is loving and caring his family. Overall, there was no direct characterization of Morrison but the indirect characterization helped me grasp that he was a curious, loving, scared, and honest person.
Cindy was the wife of Morrison, she didn't have a large roll in the story until the end. She wasn't directly characterized but Stephen King indirectly characterized her as loving and forgiving. Her most important scene was when Morrison had to explain why she was taken in and electrocuted. If I were her, I would have gone ballistic by the fact that my husband was taking part in this outrageous way to quit smoking. But Cindy, was very forgiving and happy. She was excited that the evil doctors had "let him out of prison" and wasn't upset that they had electrocuted her but was more focussed on the fact that Morrison was going to be okay. This showed a lot of Cindy's character, proving that she was kind-hearted and put other people before her.
Rising Action: I think that the rising action happened Morrison was stuck in the office with Dr.Donatti. The story didn't start off scary, but once Morrison went to the office and began the program, I could tell something was weird about the situation. The rising action occurred when Morrison was sitting in the office with the doctor made Morrison watch the bunny get electrocuted. This was very important because they told Morrison that this is what would happen if he smoked again, Morrison wouldn't get electrocuted... his wife would. That was if he smoked ONCE, and if he smoked again it would be his wife and him together, then his son and the consequences continued.
Climax: The climax transpired when Morrison smoked for the first time after learning about the dangerous treatment. This was definitely the most intriguing part of the story because he thought no one would notice and that one breath of smoke wouldn't harm anyone even though he knew what could arise. When he returned from work after smoking, his wife wasn't there and he knew... he knew in that moment they had taken her. He immediately called the treatment center and they had indeed taken her in. When Morrison arrived at the office, he saw his wife and she was very confused. Sadly, he had to explain to his traumatized wife what had happened and that it was his fault.
Falling Action: The falling action was at the end of the climax and led to the resolution. It happened in the scene when Morrison has to explain to his wife what has happened and why she was electrocuted. After he ends the explanation, Cindy is okay and happy with the treatment. When the doctors see this happen, they make sure to inform her that if he smokes again, at the next electrocution they will cut off her pinky.
Resolution: The falling action led into the resolution because at the end of the story, the Morrisons run into Jim McCann and his wife. They chat and Morrison states that the program has worked wonders and has been great for his life. The story ends with Morrison realizing that Jim McCann's wife was missing her pinky finger. I thought this was the resolution because it really brought the entire story together in an interesting way. At the beginning Morrison and McCann see each other, than Morrison goes to the treatment, he hates the thought of the way that they "cure you" from your addiction, it works, he recommends it, he runs into McCann again at the end. The story comes full circle when Morrison realizes that the program really had worked and worked on his friend as well.
What was the theme?
What is worth more to you? Family or smoking? The concept that the thing you are obsessed with can possibly hurt your family. I liked how the story was based around smoking, because smoking is a very dangerous drug. Lung cancer is one of the big outcomes of a smoking addiction and the doctor's approach of getting the patients to quit smoking through proving a message was a good way to get the readers attention. Although this short story is fiction and can be considered a horror story, it is realistic when you ask the question would you risk your family for your own benefit?