Reflecting on Literature and Community in "The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

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When people tell stories they tend to be about what they know. One thing that most people know is the environment around them. They pick up habits from their family, friends, and neighbors. They begin to talk like them using dialect and slang inherent to their region. Also, it is not uncommon for people to write about a fictional community that is based from their own community. As community affects how we write, writing can also affect the community. In other words, communities influence authors of literature and literature can also influence communities. Language is how we express ourselves. There are many different languages in our world. Within those languages there are different dialects. Those dialects are affected by the…show more content…
As I read this story I felt like my inner-voice was developing a Southern Drawl. Faulkner’s writing is extremely eloquent and deliberate. The time period also comes out through the language in his writing referring to African-Americans as Negros and to Northerners as Yankees. It soon becomes quite obvious that Faulkner must have been raised in the same time and place this story takes place. Communities do not only affect the language of the author but they also can provide the community of the author’s work. Some communities act like an extended family and an author may want to show that aspect. Sometimes an author may wish to write about a close-knit community that knows everyone else’s business. Often a writer will write about their community, illustrating certain cultural aspects that they hold dear. All of these can be examples of the writer’s community coming to life in their own stories. In “A Rose for Emily,” (DiYanni, 2007, pp. 79-84) Faulkner shows us a community that is very involved with each other. They are constantly talking about what Miss Emily does, what she says, and who she sees. The author speaks for the community using the pronoun we throughout the story. He describes how the community reacts to Homer Barron trying to court her, “At first we were glad that Miss Emily would have an interest…” (p. 82). Everyone becomes very interested in Miss Emily’s love life. When she buys poison they become worried that she was
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