Analyzing Toni Cade Bambara's 'The Lesson'

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Nathan Layton Intro to Lit Professor Malloy December 7th, 2014 Oppression; a common theme in Literature Toni Cade Bambara “The Lesson” The lesson is a novel story published on 1972 by Toni Cade Bambara. Born in 1939, she graduated in 1959 from Queens College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature. The lesson is written in first person narrative. It follows the life of Sylvia living in Harlem New York, and it is through her various interactions and observations that the reader can analyze her immediate environment. (Di Yanni, 2000) The story is set in the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. The story focuses, and social injustices with Bambara’s main interest is to narrate how children grow up and mature individuals who can critically analyze…show more content…
Lived in Chicago’s black suburban south side during an era of forced segregation of blacks and whites. The city of Chicago was a perfect example of a city carved out of economic and racial times. The Raisin sun is a stark portrait of the African American life then. It was arguably one of the first plays to portray African American characters, conflicts and themes in a realistic and natural manner as possible. The acclaimed paly received numerous accolades also bagging a few awards along the way. The play portrays the life of a young African American Living in the Southern Side of Chicago, The Youngs. The play surrounds the family's financial woes and the strategies they use to try and solve their financial problems once and for all. As the play progresses on the dreams of the Youngs collide creating conflict. Their future together seems uncertain, full of doubtful enterprises and a dangerous path ahead. But they remain determined and optimistic to live a better and more fulfilling life. The notion of sticking together and staying together as a family they can overcome and resolve not to let their individual dreams separate…show more content…
His family background shaped his enthusiasm for reading since his father was a local government officer and his mother a schoolteacher. He studied literature and writing in college. The pearl has had over the years contributed towards understanding American Literature though it was not among his acclaimed works. The story revolves around Kino, Juana and Coyotito their son living in a modest area by the sea. In the instance when a scorpion stings Coyotito they are turned away for being poor. This forces Juana to dress Coyotito’s wound. They stumble upon a large pearl in the sea and neighbors come to celebrate with his findings. The newly found wealth transforms Kino from a contented happy father to a greedy, violent person. He is a good example of how greed can demolish an individual’s innocence.(Caswell, 2005) Colonial oppression is a major theme addressed in this novella. The doctor, at the start of the story, refuses to treat Kino’s son Coyotito for them being poor. They get discriminated because of their economic and social status. The doctor explicitly shows how his colonial arrogance and his self-believed cultural superiority over others gets the better of him. He also implies how this holds within his right the power to save or end life. The European colonizers at that time also show tremendous degree of oppression and the destructive nature to the nature posed by oppression. Otherwise to

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