Toni Cade Bambara's The Lesson

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All readers have come across the stereotypical character who is charming, good-looking, and the savior of the story and our hearts, but that is present in commercial fiction. In literary fiction, characters are something greater and deeper.
In literary fiction, characterization is considered one of the most important elements in an author’s work. Characterization is the concept of creating a character. It’s a method where the author creates, describes, develops a character's actions and and thoughts. There are two ways that an author can present a character. Direct presentation, the method in which the author by analysis, tells readers directly what a character is like, or has another character do it. On the other hand, indirect presentation …show more content…

Moore. In the beginning, Sylvia, the narrator, reveals her attitude as she talks about Miss Moore as “nappy-head bitch”. We can infer at this point that Sylvia doesn’t like Miss Moore. She continues talking about her surrounding where there was “winos”, “junk man”, and “handball walls”, exposing her poverty condition. She even reveals her race when she says “ we all moved North the same time and to the same apartment”. This informs us that she is African American. So far, everything inferred by us is by the author’s technique of indirect presentation. Throughout, Sylvia considers Miss Moore an enemy. The way she says she “wouldn’t give that bitch that satisfaction” or “pains my ass” are aggressive words that represent her vulgar speech. Sylvia’s sassy, hateful tone shows her annoyance. Towards the end, Sylvia and her group see the riches of the “white folks” and now sees that there is economic and social inequality. Sylvia is a round character due to her attitude and bitterness while her development reflects her understanding the lesson, and this knowledge creates an epiphany in her. She is now aware of the class inequality and unfairness towards

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