David Sedaris Character Analysis

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Sedaris is faced with the pressure of societies view of social norms. Sedaris’ family contributes to his insecurities, especially when he was younger. “‘You don't want to be doing that,’ the men in my family would say. ‘That's a girl thing.’ Baking scones and cupcakes for school janitors, watching Guiding Light with our mothers, collecting rose petals for use in a fragrant potpourri.” (Sedaris 9-10) David Sedaris felt the pressure from his family to be more manly. He was afraid to like “girly things” because he knew his family felt as if he were too feminine. He enjoyed doing these things, but knew he was an outsider because of it. Sedaris felt that anything that was even worth doing turned out to be womanly, according to his family, which…show more content…
In France, Sedaris decided to take on the challenge of learning French. His teacher took a disliking of him and wasn't afraid to express her real feelings towards him. “We soon learned to dodge chalk and protect our heads and stomachs whenever she approached us with a question….’I hate you,’ she said to me one afternoon. Her English was flawless. ‘I really, really hate you.’ Call me sensitive, but I couldn't help but take it personally.” (Sedaris 171) Sedaris creates a tone of satire by using hyperbole. The teacher is ridiculous and takes her hate to an extreme by going out of her way to tell David she hates him every day. Not only does Sedaris feel left out because he can not pick up French, but he is the only student she has an extreme hate towards. He feels as if he does not belong anywhere he goes. He was quickly convinced that everything he said was wrong because of the utter disrespect from his teacher. This added to his lack of self confidence but, he makes a serious situation into a light hearted tone by using an hyperbole. Sedaris’ low self esteem began at an extremely young age. He has had a lisp his whole life and was forced to go to therapy. “At school where every teacher was a potential spy, I tried to avoid an S sound whenever possible….After a few weeks of what she called ‘endless pestering’ and what I called ‘repeated badgering,’ my mother bought me a pocket thesaurus which provided me with s free alternatives to just about everything.” (Sedaris 11) David Sedaris referred to his teachers as “agents” and “spies” to add a humorous side of something he disliked. He did everything in his power to avoid using S which frustrated his teachers, but gave the audience a laugh. Sedaris was extremely insecure about his lisp so he felt the need to go to the extremes to cover up his differences. The pressure from his speech therapist and teacher was so extreme that he became
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