The essay “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by the very talented David Sedaris’s is a beautiful piece amongst the remarkable pieces he has written. In this article, David implies many techniques that bring out more humor while adding more meaning to the excerpt. It might merely be funny on a piece of paper, but David remains being a brilliant author in his selection through the use of various language techniques to bring smiles to our faces. The article mainly is about his first experience in France. He tells of his classmates and a very dreadful teacher. He talks about how his teacher would be unfair to every child by belittling and at times intimidating them. Pathos is perfectly appealed to by the essay by expounding the feelings felt by David and his classmates when they were belittled by their teacher. The essay also appeals to Ethos by describing the method used by the teacher to teach French. The teacher is portrayed to teach using unorthodox way. She insults and criticizes them using French. It finally turned out being and effective teaching technique. However, the expert does not reach its audience by appealing to Logos. Sedaris’s made this a great excerpt by using a colorful imagination throughout the text through appealing through Pathos and Ethos.
Pathos simply means to appeal to an audience’s needs, values, and emotional sensibilities. In his article, David uses Pathos by giving a vivid picture and emotions of his first day. For instance, he describes in detail of how he felt the first day being in class, the moment he first met his teacher, witnessing first-hand how his classmates were being belittled and also being a choice to his teacher of being belittled. Sedaris in the article paints a clear image of his feeling whenever his teacher would insulted every student’s introduction and the nerve-racking feeling things to say in his introduction. Every audience is immediately thrown back to their first instance of jitters. When they worried one words to choose on their introduction without drawing shame. Despite Sedaris making an effort of jotting down a few quick points to speak of in his introduction, the teacher still insults him of lacking knowledge of the correct gender assignment for a typewriter and a floor waxer. Just as any member of that class, Sedaris was crucified and slaughtered by the extremely harsh criticisms from the arrogant teacher (Sedaris, 175).
Sedaris further expounds on the effects of feeling discouraged by the constant insults from his teacher. Not only did it affect him in the classroom but also outside. He began avoiding occasions that required him to speak while outside the classroom. For instance, he stopped asking for directions, and whenever anyone would ask him a question, he would go to the extent of pretending to be deaf to not answer. Another instance is not picking up phone calls since he feared to make a fool of himself while outside the classroom.
Sedaris also tries to explain to readers that despite learning a new language, exposure is still required to improve the language. At the beginning of the article, Sedaris used gibberish as a way of French. It symbolized on how he did not understand French despite being in France with his teacher for a month. In the article, Sedaris thought he was prepared but understood half of what the teacher said. That became an eye opener for him that he was not ready. However, as time went by, the gibberish started shifting into actual words meaning Sedaris understood what others were saying. Readers get to relate to an instance of learning a new language. At first, being surrounded by gibberish words until when surrounded by it on a regular basis and slowly beginning to make sense out of it (Sedaris, 176).
By portraying the very unorthodox means of learning French, Sedaris appealed to Ethos. He explains how he started understanding French after getting quite many insults from his teacher. One is easily tempted to think Sedaris would never get to learn French with the continuous critics from his teacher. However, towards the end, he gets a breakthrough and understands all his teacher says. He further goes on to explain that learning a new language might involve different ways. Despite criticizing and belittling is not what teachers would typically use, it, however, would be the stepping stone to understanding the new language (Sedaris, 177).
In conclusion, David Sedaris did a stylistic job in drafting the article by implying many techniques to aid the reader to create a perfect scene in their broad imaginations. His use of Pathos and Ethos were extremely efficient in the context. Sedaris colorfully narrates to readers how his teacher would insult every student during introductions, the experience in the classroom with what he termed a wild animal and feeling discouraged to the extent of avoiding ashaming himself outside class. The experiences helped in connecting readers emotionally. In the end, he shows his audience that unethical means of teaching may at times be a breakthrough in learning.