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"Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa" by David Sedaris

Good writing supports specific evidence and give precise facts and claims. Giving strong academic words along with organization structure that is logical and effective. The author has to be able to move from one idea to the next giving good analyzation and strategy. Good writing evokes emotion and connects things. Staying on topic with the major claim and topic sentences. Needs to have explicitness about the connection in the text. Furthermore, the writer needs to give specific rather than general claims in the reading.

In the articles “Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa” and “We’re Not” both compare and contrast their life with other people’s life using evidence and strategy.

In “Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa” by David Sedaris writes about his childhood experiences and compares them to Hugh. Sedaris describes how boring his childhood was compared to Hugh. Where he speaks of the exotic and marvelous things Hugh has done in his childhood in Africa while he was in North Carolina.

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Sedaris uses different scenarios and goes point by point to describe the differences between them. Where Hugh experienced going various times to vacations with his family, watching a movie and later seeing a dead man hanging and having a monkey and a horse. He also mentions while living in Ethiopia, Hugh is taken to a field trip in a slaughterhouse and actually see how they slaughter a live pig. This violent act is no where permitted in the U.S which was basically illegal.

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And then compares about how he didn’t do such thing when he went on a fieldtrip. He says “When I’m told such stories, it’s all I can do to hold back my feelings of jealousy. An Ethiopian slaughterhouse. Some people have all the luck” where he gives a clear understanding to the audience how badly he envied Hugh’s life and then writes about his normal historical field trips he has been at. Throughout the essay, he portrays his life as boring and devastating, but Hugh childhood as exciting. He often mentions in paragraph 8, 20 and 21 about Hugh pet monkey to symbolize how cheerful his life was compared to his. “We had a collie and a house cat. The had a monkey and two horses named Charlie Brown and Satan”.

Throughout his paragraphs he starts a conversation to bring out his present feelings about his childhood. Wondering what was going on with Hugh, he practically felted normal on those trips. That’s when he knew his feeling towards Hugh was brought by very normal conditions. Sedaris admires Hugh’s childhood; he often makes them sound privilege which there are not because they move to a new country to another. He uses transition by admiring him and then showing sympathy, it depends on what Hugh has done during his childhood not what he thinks of him. He often describes Hugh childhood in a different tone, uninterested and simple when actually his childhood was out of the ordinary and very dramatic.

The author uses verbal irony in comparing his life to Hugh’s to point out how unsatisfied he is with his life. He assumes his life would’ve have been better like his and exaggerate how he lives. Instead of being grateful of what he has. The moral in this article is to appreciate what we have and don’t compare it with others because we will never be satisfied and would want to have more in life. He uses parallel structure to compare himself to him where he basically describes how different both live and describe how envious he is. The author continues to envy throughout the essay is wrapped up at the end by him saying that he “should have been happy with what he had”. What the reader later understands is that it is David’s ignorance that cause him to be so envious. When he finally changes his life around, and decides to live it to its fullest, he begins to appreciate his life and the things that he was blessed with.

Cite this page

"Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa" by David Sedaris. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

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