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Me Talk Pretty One Day

Critical Analysis Essay

“Me Talk Pretty One Day”

Nichole Storey

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Southern New Hampshire University

In the article, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris, the author tells a story of his trip to Paris to learn French. David’s French teacher is quite abrasive and degrading to the students. The author uses humor to tell his story of humility. He mentions learning French similar to joining a gang.

The author’s goal ;is to show ;the audience that no matter how hard something may be; no person should give up. David’s teacher embarrassed him many times in front of the other students. David tried his best to learn French, but she was hard on him as well as all the other students. David did not use this as an excuse to give up; it made him more determined so he worked harder to succeed. ;

David was unaware how hard it would be to learn French. ;David said, “Learning French is a lot like joining a gang in that it involves long intensive period of hazing” (Sedaris, 1999). When you join a gang there is a long and hard process to for them to trust you. The author is saying learning French is a long and hard process. I agree with the author, learning any new language is hard. People in some countries are not very welcoming when you do not know their language. They tend to treat you poorly and not accept you. This does not mean to give up trying. Learn the language and prove it can be done. ;

David studied very hard to learn French. He wanted to create distinctiveness for himself. David states, “I’d spend four hours a night on my homework, working even longer whenever we were assigned an essay” ;(Sedaris, 1999). Working for hours proves how he wanted to learn French no matter how hard and stressful it was for him. Spending hours working on something shows a need for improvement. ;The author met his goal by showing that if you must work hard to improve. He could have spent less time on homework and still made progress but he wanted to make progress as quickly as possible. ;

David felt as though he would never improve in learning French. This was until the teacher said something to him in French and he understood every word she said to him. ;The teacher said, “Every day spent with you is like having a cesarean section” (Sedaris, 1999). ;Although David’s teacher was nasty to him and the other students, he progressed in learning French. The author has met his goal in showing the audience that it doesn’t matter how hard something can be, you can achieve anything if you have determination. David may not yet know how to speak French fluently, but he can now understand it and will only continue to improve his speech. ;

Giving up is not an option when you want to succeed. It does not matter if you feel embarrassed or belittled at times. Excuses will only lead to failure. Hard work will pay off in the end. ;Even when something is hard and seems impossible, it can be done. Put aside your feelings when being berated and strive for improvement. This will allow you to learn and be proud of your successes. You do not need a teacher or anyone else to tell you what you are capable of achieving. ;Know that anyone is capable of anything as long as there is determination. ;Even when being put down constantly, achievements will come through in time. ;


Sedaris, D. (1999). Me Talk Pretty One Day.Esquire. 131(3), 86. Retrieved from

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