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Me Talk Pretty One Day. Plot Summary. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts.
The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. Sign Up. Already have an account? Sign in. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Sign In Sign Up. Literature Poetry Lit Terms Shakescleare. Download this LitChart! Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Me Talk Pretty One Day , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
She normally goes from one student to the next in an orderly fashion, asking questions out of the textbook in a way that makes it easy for Sedaris to anticipate which question will fall to him. Today, though, the students are encouraged to answer whenever they feel like it.
This means that most of the answers end up coming from a middle-aged Moroccan woman who grew up speaking French. With confidence, she smugly leans back in her chair and shouts out the answers. One of the ways Sedaris explores identity in Me Talk Pretty One Day is by comparing and contrasting national customs, setting one culture next to another so that he can more objectively consider the practices of his own nation. Active Themes. Identity and Insecurity. While celebrating, they would toast each other with red eggs, and whoever had the only unbroken one was supposed to enjoy a year of good luck.
The only year Sedaris won, his mother died, he got robbed, and he had to go to the emergency room. Despite his reluctant attitude toward Easter, though, he thinks he can confidently help his classmates describe the holiday to the Moroccan woman. With this in mind, he prepares readers to challenge the things they have perhaps always taken for granted about Easter. Humor, Commentary, and Observation. Sedaris assures her that he spoke correctly, explaining that the Easter Bunny comes in the night with a basket of food.
The teacher shakes her head and says that in France a flying bell comes from Rome to deliver the chocolate. This confounds Sedaris, who asks how the bell would know where people live. The confusion that arises when Sedaris and his teacher talk about Easter perfectly encapsulates the surprising cultural differences that often exist between two nations, even when those nations might not seem that different from one another.
Indeed, the differences between Morocco and France are rather evident because one nation is predominantly Christian while the other is mostly Islamic. In reality, though, France and the United States are just as foreign to one another in some regards as France and Morocco.
By putting this dynamic on display, Sedaris invites readers to reconsider the things they take for granted about their own cultures and what they think they know about other countries. After trying to describe Easter to the Moroccan woman, Sedaris wonders if he and his classmates would have been able to effectively describe the holiday even if they could speak perfect French.
How, he wonders, could they possibly have made sense of Christianity, especially with all of them coming from different backgrounds?
This, Sedaris notes, is the nature of religion—it requires people to have a patient kind of faith, one that helps them believe things that are otherwise difficult to explain. In the same way that religious people cling tightly to their faith, Sedaris knows that he and his fellow students need to have their own kind of faith: the faith to believe that they will someday get better at speaking French.
Admiring the kind of devotion it takes to believe in something bigger than oneself something spiritual and mysterious , he applies a religious way of thinking to his own life, acknowledging that his attempt to learn French requires a similar kind of forward-looking optimism. This is one of the few times throughout Me Talk Pretty One Day that he allows himself to become somewhat sentimental, casting aside humor in the interest of making a sincere observation about the nature of faith.
Analysis of "Jesus Shaves" by David Sedaris. When the teacher asks what takes place during Easter, a Moroccan student expresses that she has never heard of the Christian celebration. The story is also narrated in 1st person by what is most likely a student from an American background. In order for the reader, who is most likely American, to understand that other cultures do not recognize the same religious traditions, the Polish, Italian, and Moroccan classmates are added to the plot. If the reader is of Christian background, or even American or European, they may have an understanding of what Easter is from a religious perspective.