The Lesson And Sonny 's Blues By Toni Cade Bambara Essay

The Lesson And Sonny 's Blues By Toni Cade Bambara Essay

Length: 961 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Many stories today have similar characteristics. While reading “the Lesson” and “Sonny’s Blues” it is clear that the stories are alike in several ways. I wondered how two separate stories written by two different authors could be so parallel, so I did some research on the authors. While researching I found out that the author of “The Lesson”, Toni Cade Bambara, was born in Harlem just like the main character, Sylvia, in her story. In an interview, Bambara talked about women in her neighborhood that influenced her literature. This is parallel to Miss Moore, a neighbor of Sylvia, who had a big impact on her. Like Bambara, James Baldwin, the author of “Sonny’s Blues”, was born in Harlem. While researching Baldwin, I found out he too grew up in poverty like, the characters in his short story “Sonny’s Blues”. Between the two stories there are many similarities between the characters and the characters’ lives, but even with the similarities there are some differences as well. The two stories differ in the way of how to characters learned and when the characters finally had that breakthrough learning moment.
The first similarity that I observed between these two short stories was the characteristics between the protagonists’ families’ lives. Throughout “The Lesson” and “Sonny’s Blues” many hardships have been placed on the characters due to their social status and where they come from. The characters had to deal with factors of poverty and even violence as a child growing up in the tough streets of Harlem. In “The Lesson” the main character and narrator Sylvia lives in the Harlem ghetto, and experience life on the rough side of town. We can infer that Sylvia and her family don’t have much money when Sylvia says “And Miss ...


... middle of paper ...


...a lesson about his brother by just observing and listening to his brother play.
As presented there is much evidence that supports how the two short stories are comparable. Although the stories are similar, there are without any doubts differences between the two. The challenge of growing up on the rough side of town, and dealing with poverty (and even drugs and violence, in “Sonny’s Blues”) is something that the characters in both stories had to overcome throughout their life. The characters have similar lifestyles. In contrast the characters in the stories have different ways of learning and are getting taught a lesson at different times in their lives. The characters have similar personalities when it comes to tolerating others. The similarities between the story all goes back to the similarities between the two different authors who wrote the stories.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Lesson And Sonny 's Blues By Toni Cade Bambara

- Stories having similar characteristics are very common nowadays. While reading “the Lesson” and “Sonny’s Blues” it was apparent that the story was alike in many ways. I wonder how two separate stories could be so parallel, so I did some research on the authors. While researching the author of “The Lesson”, Toni Cade Bambara, I found out she was born in Harlem just like the main character, Sylvia, in her story. Like Bambara, James Baldwin, the author of “Sonny’s Blues”, was born in Harlem as well....   [tags: Protagonist, Character, Antagonist]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: community, literature, language, Lesson, Toni Cade]

Better Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara

- The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara The major theme of the story was creating awareness in adolescents about what life has to offer. The nature of human beings of accepting the realities of life to such an extent that apathy and lethargy sets in, is what proves to be destructive for the social fabric of today’s world. In this stagnation, Mrs. Moore provides the impetus required for people to realize their god given right to something better. We are told that Mrs. Moore has a college degree, is well dressed most of the times, and has a good command on her language....   [tags: Lesson Toni Cade Bambara Essays]

Better Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Summary of The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara Essay

- The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara The Lesson, by Toni Cade Bambara, portrays a group of children living in the slums of New York City around 1972. They seem to be content living in poverty in some very unsanitary conditions. One character, Miss Moore, the children’s self appointed mentor, takes it upon herself to further their education during the summer months. She feels this is her civic duty because she is educated. She used F.A.O. Schwarz, a very expensive toystore, to teach them a lesson and inspire them to strive for success and attempt to better themselves and their situations....   [tags: Toni Cade Bambara The Lesson Papers Summary]

Better Essays
847 words (2.4 pages)

Knowledge and Poverty in The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara Essay example

- Toni Cade Bambara addresses how knowledge is the means by which one can escape out of poverty in her story The Lesson. In her story she identifies with race, economic inequality, and literary epiphany during the early 1970’s. In this story children of African American progeny come face to face with their own poverty and reality. This realism of society’s social standard was made known to them on a sunny afternoon field trip to a toy store on Fifth Avenue. Through the use of an African American protagonist Miss Moore and antagonist Sylvia who later becomes the sub protagonist and White society the antagonist “the lesson” was ironically taught....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Toni Cade Bamabara]

Better Essays
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Symbolism and Themes in The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara Essay

- Symbolism and Themes in The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara Toni Cade Bambara wrote the short story, The Lesson, in 1972. The Lesson is considered by the Literary Canon to be a wonderful work of fiction because of its use of language, humanistic theme, symbolism, and non-genre plot. Two essential elements that add to the depth and enhance a reader?s comprehension of The Lesson are Bambara?s use of symbolism and theme. The Lesson takes place in New York?s inner city. The fictional story begins with a group of poor, uneducated, lower class city kids standing in front of a mailbox, preparing themselves for another day of being taught by Mrs....   [tags: Papers Lessons Toni Cade]

Better Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

The Theme in The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara Essay

- The Theme in The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara The theme in "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara appears to be a lesson on Social Class and having a choice which society you choose to live in. Miss. Moore who takes on this responsibility to educate the young ones has more then a lesson to teach, but a challenging group of city kids to come by. Sylvia and Sugar which seems to be the leader of the group of neighborhood kids gives Miss. Moore that challenge and not give her the satisfaction....   [tags: Toni Cade Bambara Papers]

Better Essays
602 words (1.7 pages)

Hope in The Lesson, by Toni Cade Bambera Essay

- After reading Toni Cade Bambara's, The Lesson, the reader is left with a sense of hope for the first person narrator Sylvia and her friends. Following her and her friends from the slums of New York, to a Fifth Avenue F.A.O. Swartz, one gets an idea as to the kind of environment they came from, the type of education they received, and the sense of economic imbalance they bear witness to. Through this the antagonist, Miss Moore, is able to let the children evaluate for themselves the difference between the Fifth Avenue world and the one they are from, at an age where the impression made upon them might generate a spark of desire to find out how they might achieve the same rewards Fifth Avenue...   [tags: The Lesson]

Better Essays
1480 words (4.2 pages)

The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara Essay

- Toni Cade Bambara addresses how knowledge is the means by which one can escape out of poverty in her story The Lesson. In her story she identifies with race, economic inequality, and literary epiphany during the early 1970’s. In this story children of African American progeny come face to face with their own poverty and reality. This realism of society’s social standard was made known to them on a sunny afternoon field trip to a toy store on Fifth Avenue. Through the use of an African American protagonist Miss Moore and antagonist Sylvia who later becomes the sub protagonist and White society the antagonist “the lesson” was ironically taught....   [tags: african american, life lesson]

Better Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)

Symbolism in Toni Cade Bambara's The Lesson Essay

- Symbolism in Toni Cade Bambara's The Lesson Symbols are often use in stories to portray more of a literal meaning. Conventional, literary, and allegory are examples of the different types of symbolism. Symbols can be displayed in many different ways. People, objects, and events are just a few of the ways. Throughout the short story, "The Lesson," Toni Cade Bambara uses symbolism in many areas. The title, "The Lesson," is one symbol that Bambara uses. Miss. Moore, the teacher with a college degree, takes the kids on a trip to F.A.O....   [tags: Bambara Lesson Analysis]

Better Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)