David Sedaris Remembering My Childhood Essay

Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa Summary and Analysis

In this essay, Sedaris retells stories from his childhood as well as Hugh's, which illustrate once again the great differences between Sedaris and an important person in his life. Sedaris's partner Hugh did not have an average American childhood. Rather, he was an American living in Africa with servants, chefs, and drivers. Growing up on another continent, especially Africa, Hugh's childhood stories are peppered with incidents Sedaris could hardly imagine as a child.

Sedaris recounts how unalike their childhoods were. For instance, while living in Ethiopia, Hugh is taken on a field trip to a slaughterhouse, a trip which would be considered traumatic, not educational, in the US. While Hugh is visiting slaughterhouses, Sedaris is playing sack races. Hugh has stories of pythons slithering across school basketball...

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Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa
This story is an excellent example of comparing and contrasting. It is about the childhood of David Sedaris, award winning author born in New York and raised in North Carolina. The story is about him comparing his life to his significant other Hugh. David compares his childhood in North Carolina to Hugh’s childhood in Africa. He even compares his collie and cat to Hugh’s 2 horses and pet monkeys. Throughout the story he compares how they do the same activities, but the way the activities play out are way different. Their lives were different in so many ways, yet in a way eerily similar. Hugh has went through things no kids should have to, from witnessing a dead man hanging from a light pole after a trip to the theatre or a pig assassinated on a class field trip. These are things that most adults couldn’t handle let alone a young pre-teenager.
The story starts out with a field trip to an Ethiopian slaughterhouse. Who with a sane mind would send a bus full of 11 year olds to a slaughterhouse? The trip didn’t end on a happy note either. One of the slaughterhouse’s owners put the pistol to a little baby piglet’s head and shot him execution style. Such an experience a little 11 year old’s mind can’t comprehend.   To watch such an innocent little baby get shot in such a manner has to be traumatic.
For some reason these experiences makes David jealous. Maybe because us as a people always want what we don’t have, that when we have it we all of a sudden it in undesirable. He compares Hugh’s slaughterhouse experience to the lackluster field trips he had as a young boy. Of course the more interesting trip will take place in Africa. Hugh got to travel all over the world due to the fact that his father was a career officer for the US State Department. Hugh has lived in many exotic places, from Ethiopia to the Congo. His life was anything but boring. Nothing is out of the ordinary when it comes to living in...

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