Me Talk Pretty One Day Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Me Talk Pretty One Day.
This section contains 530 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Me Talk Pretty One Day Study Guide

Me Talk Pretty One Day Summary & Study Guide Description

Me Talk Pretty One Day Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

David Sedaris, a humorist and writer, presents a compilation of comical personal essays in Me Talk Pretty One Day. The essays are strung together with Sedaris's candid manner and a persistent language theme. The book is divided into two parts, and with a few exceptions, focuses on the early part of Sedaris's life in the first half, and the more recent years of his life while living in France in the second half.

In Part 1, Sedaris introduces himself with stories from his childhood where unwelcome sessions with a speech teacher and a music teacher reveal that he feels like he doesn't fit in. During his childhood, Sedaris is aware that he is his father's opposite, but like his sisters, shares his more creative and less cerebral personality with his mother. He happily trades technological talk for discussions about accomplishing the perfect tan.

Inspired by his sister's skill with a paintbrush, Sedaris begins an interesting journey developing as an artist. After running the gamut of artistic specialties, from sculpture to performance art, Sedaris finishes his degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating, he takes on the ambitious task of teaching a writing workshop, which turns out to be a flop.

Sedaris moves on to New York City where he first works as a personal assistant to an obnoxious woman named Valencia, which he quickly trades for back-breaking labor as a mover. Throughout this hilarious journey, Sedaris frequently recalls bizarre experiences with misidentified pigeons named Cheeky, meals that look like Band-Aids and chocolate, and the un-flushed remains of house guests.

In Part 2, Sedaris share stories of his bumbling adventures trying to adjust to a new culture. After cleverly plotting a romantic future for himself and a new acquaintance named Hugh, Sedaris is shortly thereafter living happily with Hugh in New York.

Hugh and Sedaris make summer visits to Normandy, France where Hugh has a summer home. During these visits, Hugh spends most of his time fixing up the house, while Sedaris fumbles about trying to get a grasp of the French language. He spends his first year spewing the words "bottleneck" and "ashtray" as canned responses to just about any question.

Sedaris spends his summers in France, developing more confidence with the language. After six years of summers in France, Sedaris and Hugh decide to move to Paris. Sedaris enrolls in a French class once they move to Paris, and his new teacher immediately reinstates Sedaris's self-doubt. He spends his time avoiding the French culture, hiding in movie theatres or underneath a set of headphones that plays books-on-tape in English.

During the second half of the book, Sedaris's life in Paris is just another backdrop for his hilarious everyday experiences. He struggles with the French language, and reminiscent of his childhood, develops tactics for avoiding certain phrases. As an American in Paris, Sedaris also begins to view the world differently, changing his tone from that of self-absorption to one of social conscientiousness.

Although the novel may at first appear to be a miscalculated grouping of essays that bounce about chronologically, Sedaris actually pulls off a witty personal story held together by insightful themes.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 530 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Me Talk Pretty One Day Study Guide
Me Talk Pretty One Day from BookRags. (c)2022 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.