In “This Is Why I Will Never Be an Adult,” Allie Brosh offers a humorous view into the challenges of adulthood.
What does she seem to say about the experience of being an adult? How accurate do you view her
interpretation of adulthood to be? Is adulthood just “one monumental burst of effort” (298), as Brosh describes
it, or is it a continual challenge relying on sustained effort and “practice?”
Next, compare the two commencement speeches by David Sedaris and David Foster Wallace. Consider the
tone of each speech: why might one use humor, while the other uses it more sparingly? Which speech brought
you more enjoyment as you read? Why?
Consider as well the central idea of each essay. What definition of “being an adult” does each of these writers
offer? How does each of these writers define that expectation, that responsibility? What part does “thinking”
play in adulthood according to the messages conveyed by these two men? How would Sedaris define
“thinking,” and how would Wallace define it?
Most commencement speeches are focused on a message that will prepare the graduates for their new lives
as adults. What message does each writer communicate to the graduates? How do Sedaris and Wallace
accomplish the goal of preparing them for the future ahead?
Finally, imagine yourself in twenty years. Will there be a specific moment on which you can look back and say,
“That’s when I became an adult?” Or, if you already consider yourself an adult, do you have such a moment? If
so, describe it; if not, then why not? Will you never become one? Do you believe such moments exist?