Based on "Jesus Shaves" by David Sedaris, what two (or more) modes of knowledge inform the characters' thinking and behavior, and how so? In what ways is each character trapped and in what ways liberated or even empowered by that situation?

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David Sedaris's essay "Jesus Shaves" is from his larger work Me Talk Pretty One Day, a collection of essays detailing his own move to Normandy, France, and taking French classes. In his essay, all characters' knowledge is influenced by their cultures and beliefs, yet knowledge is also incompletely articulated due to language barriers. Hence, characters such as Sedaris and the French teacher are influenced by two modes of knowledge concerning cultural beliefs and grammar.Due to the students' insufficient knowledge of French grammar , the students are unable to explain to the Muslim woman from Morocco the meaning of Easter. Yet, as Sedaris points out, only part of the problem was lack of French grammar and vocabulary. By the end of the story, he wonders "if, without the language barrier, my classmates and I could have done a better job making sense of Christianity, an idea that sounds pretty far-fetched to begin with." Just as the students are unable to explain Christianity due to lack of grammar,...

(The entire section contains 602 words.)

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