Analysis Of Toni Cade Bambara 's ' The Lesson '

1341 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 6 Pages
English 2
4 December 2015
In Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson,” she encourages Sylvia to look society in the eye and change what is expected of her. She exposes the inequality present within the United States’s society through the perspective of young African American children. Often, many are unwilling to acknowledge that they are a victim of poverty, leaving them in a state of ignorance, that will not promote any change. The story revolves around Sylvia, a young black girl, who finally has her eyes opened to her disadvantaged economic status. Real learning often occurs after a state of discomfort and confusion. Bambara takes Sylvia through a journey enlightening her through an uncomfortable juxtaposition of Harlem and Manhattan, her and her friends, and who she actually is and who she wants to be. Sylvia never truly realized how poverty stricken the area she lives in was until she got the opportunity to venture into Manhattan. Sylvia describes the area around the neighborhood she lives in:
The winos who cluttered up our parks and pissed on our handball walls and stank up our hallways and stairs so you couldn 't halfway play hide-and-seek without a goddamn gas mask. (Bambara par. 1)
She describes the dirty area in detail like it is normal sight for her to see when she comes outside of her house. Sylvia has failed to notice how unfortunate her living situation is, without having something to compare it to. It isn 't until she goes to Fifth…

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