After reading “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”, all I could think was that Z.Z. Packer is a very talented writer. Her use of quotes/dialogue, anecdotes, descriptions, scene-setting, similes, and metaphors all account for a truly captivating piece of writing. To begin, Packer does not just simply quote a character. Before a character speaks, she describes them, and then she describes their actions as they are saying the quote, and she accounts how they are saying the quote (ex: “with a wavering voice” or “her story came out in teary, hiccup-like bursts”). The descriptive quality of Packer’s work allows the audience to visualize the scene and the characters themselves, which captivates their attention. For example, after her main character says that she wants to be a revolver, Packer describes the scene as: “The sunlight dulled as if on cue. Clouds passed rapidly overhead, presaging rain.” We can all picture this happening and see the humor in it occurring when it did. Packer describes all that the main character is observing. For example, Packer describes the main character Dina’s new friend: “She was large but not obese, and crying had turned her face the color of raw chicken”. Packer’s use of similes and metaphors is powerful too. Here is an example of a simile describing how Dina’s friend Heidi was dressed: “Dressed like an aspiring plumber.” I really love how her descriptions also help to create the personality of the main character who is the one describing everything anyway. We can gain that Dina, the main character, is a little sarcastic, blunt, and care-free.

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