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The Lesson

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by

Justin Ilejay

on 12 September 2013

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Transcript of The Lesson

"The Lesson"
Toni Cade Bambara

Justin Ilejay
Daniel Kim
Jeremy Almodovar

Method of Development
-African-America author, documentary film-maker, social activist, and college profesor
Climax
Character Analysis
-Sylvia (Protagonist)-sassy, defiant to authority, has authority over other children, portrayed as a leader, goes through the most change through the lesson, feels betrayed by Sugar, disturbed after exposure to the other side of society, *(dynamic)
Author
Tone
-Tone of the story is basically the thoughts and expressions of Sylvia (narrator)
Irony
Miss Moore's name
Symbols
-Miss Moore: opportunity, chance, reality, inner eye, salvation, there is more to life than what society sets you as.
Theme/Setting
>Poverty and Wealth
-main focus: The truly ambitious will be able to overcome the barriers of society
-These children are very limited in what they can do and observe due to the racial standards of society
-Miss Moore is a prime example of the theme
Central Conflict/Denouement
Man vs. Society
-the children are unaware of the prejudices they face
-Miss Moore exposes them to a world of luxury unlike their own poverty-stricken neighborhood
-she encourages the children to move up in the world but also reminds them to be proud of their heritage
-The conflict is resolved when two of the
characters, Sylvia and Sugar, understand the
the lesson behind Miss Moore's actions
Setting: Story is set in the 1960's after the effects of the Black Renaissance
-Inequality and injustice imposed on African Americans
-Story begins in a shabby Harlem Ghetto
-transitions into a high-class toy store in Manhattan (FAO Shwartz)
-Miss Moore (Antagonist) - educated, wise, insightful, inspirational, wants to give back to her community, strict with children and their activities, wants to teach social inequality in America
-Sugar: wild, playful, Sylvia's cousin and best friend who picks up on Miss Moore's lesson faster than Sylvia, ends up ignoring the lesson at the end of the story, *(dynamic)
-Flyboy, Fatt Butt, Mercedes, Rosie, Junebug, Q.T.: friends of Sylvia who go to the toy store with Miss Moore, fool around, completely miss the lesson *(all static)
-portrayed through a palpable tinge by Miss Moore's rising excitement at Sugar's insight and sorrowful expression at Sylvia's emotions and reactions
-Climax occurs when Sylvia feels that "something weird is goin on, I can feel it in my chest.
-Climax represents Sylvia's awareness that Sugar is right about what she stated and also that she is having a hard time absorbing the harsh facts of reality
-Sylvia & Sugar: symbolize hope for the new generation, only individuals amongst the kids to understand that there is more to this trip to the toy store than the eye can see
-Fat Butt, Fly Boy, Q.T., Junebug, Mercedes: symbolize the ignorance of the black community in that time period
-FAO Schwartz: represents white society, rich and elaborate, contrast to the ghetto
-Paperweight, Sailboat, Microscope: symbolize a boundary line for the children, provides a mental image of how different they are from the rich part of society
P.O.V.
-starts with third-person limited then transitions to third-person omniscient
-Story is told by the POV of mainly Sylvia but includes the perspectives of Miss Moore, society, and even a fly on the wall
-nostalgia
-extremely content
-annoyed
-ambivalent
-spark of curiousity
-confusion
-determination
- Dramatic Irony: Sylvia was most indifferent about the trip and expects to learn nothing from the trip, yet she learns the most.
Trip to FAO Schwartz: symbolizes a journey from blissful ignorance to harsh reality
Allusion
-Paulo Freire
-brazillian educator and philosopher who emphasized pedagogy
-best known for his influential work,"Pedagogy of the Oppressed."
-pedagogy-social movement that helped students develop consciousness pf freedom, recognize oppression, and connect knowledge and ability to take action
-Miss Moore uses methods of teaching that are similar to Paulo Freire's methods
-born as Miltona Mirkin Cade in New York City
-grew up in the Harlem, Bedford Stuyvesant
-Changed her name to Bambara in 1970 to relate more with her ethnic background
-started writing career in 1959 at Queens College
-works were based on the Civil Rights and Black Nationalist movements
-participated in many communtity and activist organizations
-written pieces were concerned with injustice and oppression of African-American communities
-works used art of writng and teaching to convey messages of social and political topics in America
- Verbal Irony: "And she was black as hell cept for her feet, which were fish white and spooky."
Brian Seong
Full transcript