Me Talk Pretty One Day Questions and Answers
by David Sedaris

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What is the thesis statement of Me Talk Pretty One Day?

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Sedaris's anecdotal style seems to avoid the need for a thesis statement, at least in the classic sense. If you read the essay looking for a sentence that declares what his piece will "prove," you are likely to be disappointed. I suppose you could consider the first line‚—"At the age of forty-one, I am returning to school and have to think of myself as what my French textbook calls 'a true debutant'"—as a thesis of sorts. But that does not quite get at what his essay is about.

Sedaris's argument is about the nature of education, and how, even as an adult, the dynamics of the classroom remain the same. He writes about how learning is hard, and not knowing the answer to a question can be shameful. His teacher is abusive and insulting, but as a student he found himself nevertheless working very hard to please her. In a way, her abuse made his learning possible, because it forced him to think creatively about ways he could prove to her that he was a good student. Her abuse also became a...

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