David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day Analysis

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David Sedaris was born in Binghamton, New York, on December 26th, 1956, and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. In his childhood, he went to a speech therapist for his lisp problem. He attended Kent State University, but dropped out, and ended up graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked many odd jobs in Raleigh, Chicago and New York City. Since the 1908s, he has been living in France with his partner, Hugh Hamrick. He is now a playwright, regular contributor for the National Public Radio, and also a writer. He writes for the Esquire and The New Yorker , and has published collections of essays and short stories, such as Barrel Fever, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim and When…show more content…
A common rhetorical device, found in his essays is metaphor. In the opening of “Go Carolina,” Sedaris comically calls his speech therapist an “agent,” while he became the “criminal,” and the act of being taken to therapy is his “capture.” Sedaris extends this metaphor, referring to the therapist as “Agent Samson” throughout the whole essay, adding drama and wit to the passage. In “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” his French teachers insults her class through phrases such as, “Every day spent with you is like having a cesarean section.” The use of this metaphor helps Sedaris show the reader her true feelings and personality. In “In the Waiting Room,” Sedaris makes the comparison of having stitches on his gums, as having a “mouthful of spiders.” This association helps us understand the sensation better, and also serves to be comical. Sedaris also uses hyperboles to enhance the humor and drama in his writings. One instance of hyperbole is in “Go Carolina,” when he states, “the word therapy suggested a profound failure on my part.” Obviously, he is exaggerating the fact that therapy was a “profound failure,” adding to his intended drama. Also, in “In the Waiting Room,” when he is describing his experience, it is an exaggeration to have the thought of suicide at the moment. But the use of hyperboles in this case works, because the exaggeration of certain things provides comedy for the reader. Sedaris also makes use of rhetorical questioning. Throughout “Go Carolina,” Sedaris uses rhetorical questions which encourage the reader to empathize with him because of the public humiliation he endured. For example, on the day of his first session, he asks himself, “No one else had been called, so why me?” In “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” Sedaris asks, “How often is one asked what he loves in this world? More to the point, how often is one asked and then publicly ridiculed for his answer?” This type of questioning forces the

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