The story Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas is the author’s personal account of her alcohol abuse as a young lady. The book is all about her experiences during her “drunken” years, her insights, and her realizations. Her personal story of binge drinking is unique because she starts out drinking at a very young age and ends this habit at a time when women her age usually start drinking. Despite drinking a lot for nine years, she was not really alcoholic.
Her experiences help her deliver her message because she narrates in detail her experiences and backs up her claims with research. This combination of detailed descriptions and concrete examples makes her approach effective. Start Young End Young The first unique thing about Zailckas’ experience as a binge drinker is that she starts drinking at a very young age, as she says in the book: “I started drinking before I started high school” (Zailckas 177), which means, she was probably fourteen or younger when she had her first drink.
At twenty one, the legal drinking age in the United States, she is way too ahead of herself. Despite this drinking age law, it is a generally accepted fact that teenagers drink beer, but they usually start drinking at around sixteen. Another unique thing about Zailckas’ experience is that she stopped drinking at an age when women would normally start drinking. Women can Drink The author’s experiences on binge drinking help her deliver her message by giving her own personal experiences as an example. By telling her experiences, the readers are somehow able to empathize with her.
Her message is said loud and clear, “I wrote this book because I want to quash the misconceptions about girls and drinking” (Zailckas 178). The author feels that society has stereotyped women drinking to be a form of a feminist movement, but through her and other women’s experiences, she explains women drink because it is their way of expressing their unhappiness. Another message that Zailckas wants to deliver (in a non-feminist way) is that women are drinking as much and as early as boys.
The author has met a lot of drunken girls during her nine year “drinking career.They come from all walks of life and have surely experienced embarrassing aftereffects of alcohol. Author’s Approach The author’s approach is personal. The work is based on her experiences and is backed up by some research. The work is an autobiographical account of the author’s previous drinking problem, written in the first person view. By being personal in her approach, the author is able to tell her story more effectively, and more readers would believe what she is saying because of the empathy evoked from her narration.
Readers always like that “closeness” that is felt when reading pieces such as this; they can relate more to the author when the narration is done in a personal way. Conclusion Smashed: The Story of a Drunken Girlhood is a memoir of Zailckas regarding her very young experience in alcohol abuse. These very personal experiences help the author clarify to the readers the myths associated with women drinking. By adding a personal touch to her work, the author is able to tell her story effectively.