The essay “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, written by a famous American humorist David Sedaris tells the story of a man on his way to learning French in a Paris school at the age of 41. The essay is full of emotions, personal struggles, and growth that speak to the audience. Its structure and style seem to be simple, but this simplicity fascinates the reader.
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To begin with, the piece is addressed to those fearing to learn a new language. Lack of confidence is widespread when an individual immerses themselves in the foreign language environment, as Sedaris (2000) did. When he describes his colleagues, the reader can observe how similar such experience is for different people. Sedaris’ message is quite simple: everybody is scared of new beginnings. There are always many things that make one lose confidence. However, millions have gone through this, and so will everyone else with disciplined work.
As for the structure, first, the author describes the context: Paris, everybody is young, Sedaris knows little French (Sedaris, 2000). Then, there is an intense scene of the first lesson where the main antagonist is introduced (Sedaris, 2000). The reader comes to the understanding of why Sedaris ends up so frightened to practice his skills in life and, hence, cannot enjoy the latter. The culmination of the story occurs when he finally can fully understand his teacher (Sedaris, 2000). By this point in the narrative, the reader is ready to share the joy of the event. The structure is simple, yet, it does not make the story less lifelike and sincere.
Another aspect to be discussed is Sedaris’ style. Even the insignificant figures of his classmates have bright characters that speak to the reader. Probably, the greatest element of the work is its ending with his response: he leaves the upcoming scene to readers’ imagination. When describing the first class, Sedaris’ style seems to be a little too wordy which may disengage the reader for a while.
To conclude, Sedaris’ story is a humorous and truthful piece. The author speaks to the people facing the fear of a new start. The narrative is organized so that the climax of the story seems like an incredible breakthrough. Sedaris’ style is just right for the reader to feel the struggle of learning French and then the excitement of success.
Sedaris, D. (2000). Me Talk Pretty One Day. Me Talk Pretty One Day. Little Brown, 166 – 173.