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Me Talk Pretty One Day

In: Novels

Submitted By Uysal
Words 1396
Pages 6
Me Talk Pretty One Day Written by Asim Aydin Uysal

It can be very difficult to learn a language like French, especially when you have only taken a month long class, before heading to the country of the language you have been studying for past month and going back to the school bench. This is the case in the essay ‘’Me Talk Pretty One Day’’ by David Sedaris, published in 2005. We do not know the name of the protagonist, all we know about him is that he is at the age of forty-one, and has now moved from New York to Paris with hopes of learning the language.

Our protagonist is forty-one years old and has moved from New York to Paris to learn the French language. He loves leafing through medical textbooks, and has a love for IBM typewriters, things he detest is blood sausage, intestinal pâtes and brain pudding. He is a sensitive person and seems that he is very young at heart, because of many of his statements throughout the essay, one of them would be: ‘’ Turn ons: Mom’s famous fire-alarm chili! Turnoffs: insecurity and guys who come too strong!!!!’’(Lines 43-44, p.7)
On his first day in school he is feeling a bit uncomfortable, or ‘’nerve-racking’’ as he says himself. He did feel indisposed as all the other students were all young, attractive and well dressed, which makes him feel like Pa Kettle, who is a comic character, so we should presume that he is a comic fanatic, since he compares himself to a comic character.
The first time he meet his teacher, he could only understand half of what she was saying. ‘If you have not meimslsxp or 1gpdmurct by this time, then you should not be in this room. Has everyone apzkiubjxow?’’(Lines 21-22, p.6), this sentence was an example of what he hears and understands when his French teacher is speaking.
The French teacher is very offensive in her way of teaching and has a very high temperament, as our protagonist says’’ Her temperament was not based on a series of good and bad days, but rather, good and bad moments’’(Lines 83-84,p.7), an good example of this is when the two Polish Anna’s raised their hands when she asked out in class if there was any anyone in the room whose first name commences with a ahh(lines 29-30). They were then instructed to tell some information about themselves and etc give us a brief list of things they like and dislike. The first Anna stated that she enjoyed spending time with her friends but hated the mosquito, the teachers response to that was ’’How very interesting. I thought that everyone loved the mosquito, but here, in front of all the world, you claim to detest him. How it that we have been is blesses with someone as unique and original as you? Tell us, please’’ (lines 35-38,p.6) and she also accused a young Yugoslav girl who identified herself as an optimist and who said that she loved everything the life had to offer, of being supportive of genocide and asked her ‘’Oh yeah? And do you love your little war?’’(Lines 54, p.7). She is very merciless in her remarking against these young students, the first Anna felt ashamed and huffed for her breath while staring down at her lap trying to find an appropriate comeback. The Yugoslav girl struggled to find a way to defend herself by finding a comeback to this trick question of hers.
Our protagonist has made a list of things that he detest, which he had to read out loud, as the turn had now come to him , while doing so he mispronounced IBM and assigned the wrong gender to the IBM typewriter which he had just declared his love to. Her reaction went so far that he felt that he had committed one of the great capital crimes of France, she asked him ‘Were you always this palicmkrexis?...’’Even af fiuscrzsa ticiwelmun knows that a typewriter is feminine’’(Lines 71-72, p7) even though he didn’t understand half of what she said again this time. Neither did the rest of the class, and at the end of the very first school day, everyone had been tormented by her presence and her attacking questions for whatever they had to say.
He and the other students began to think that they would never be able to master this language if they had to be in the presence of a wild animal like her. She had shaken them up for good and made them fear her so much that they began to block their heads and stomach in the fear of that she might hit them while approaching them with a new question. Even though she hadn’t punched anyone, all the students had the feeling of that it could happen anytime soon ‘She hadn’t punched anyone, but it seemed wise to protect ourselves against the inevitable’’ (Lines 84-85, p.7)

Our protagonist and the teacher has never really bonded and has always had a tense relationship to each other, even though she had forbidden everyone to speak anything but French, she went up to the protagonist and told him’’ I hate you’’ (Lines 88, p.8) first time she said it, he noticed that her English was excellent, but afterwards she repeated it by saying ‘’ I really, really hate you’’ (Lines 88, p.8).
He took this personally and began to study four hours a night to get his homework done, he wouldn’t let anyone speak to him like that, and he took her comments very personally, and is now putting even more time in his homework. One of the reasons he did this is because he wants to create an identity for himself.

He is scared, his fear has begun to follow him outside the classroom, he can’t do anything that involves something where you have to speak, and because of his teacher he is now afraid of saying anything. He cannot even deposit money in his bank account or take the phone if it rings, and is also ignoring people and pretending to be deaf if they tried to speak to him. But he is not alone; he has all of his class mates by his sides, which all feel the same way as he.

The title of the essay ‘’Me Talk Pretty One Day’’ reminds me of one of the conversations in it, it’s the one between our protagonist and the other students ‘’ Sometime me cry alone at night’’…’’That be common for I, also, but be more strong, you. Much work and someday you talk pretty. People start love you soon. Maybe tomorrow, okay’’ (Lines 108-110, p.8) this quote is probably the most important as it refers to the title of this essay, they all have a gasp of hope that if they work hard, people will start to love them, and they will talk pretty one day. By saying that people will start to love you, I start to think if they have begun to get the feeling that people in France hate them because they do not know the language. They began to lose hope, and thought that it would be impossible for them to improve they French. Months passed and one day the teacher went up to our main person and said ‘’Everyday spent with you is like having a caesarean section’’(Lines 119-120,p.8), for the very first time he actually understood every single word of what she said, he felt that he had achieved something big and saw it as a reward, he settled back and enjoyed every new curse and insult the teacher came up with. He couldn’t care less about what she said, he was overfilled with joy because he could not understand her, and responded ‘’I know the thing that you speak exact now. Talk me more, you, plus, please, plus.’’(Lines 127-128, p.8)
Our protagonist has become a new man; no longer must he fear her or be afraid speaking. What we can learn from him is that hard work pays off, work hard and people will love you and you will talk pretty one day.

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