The social commentary and story of sylvia in the lesson a short story by toni cade bambara

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The social commentary and story of sylvia in the lesson a short story by toni cade bambara

An outstanding feature of African American literature has been proved to be a distinctively variety of English language used prevalently among black communities in the United States of America.

Toni Cade Bambara is one of the African American Authors for whom language goes beyond a mere tool of communication. The first part of the article considers the linguistic features which make the language of the text distinctively black and the second part of the article is an attempt to read between the lines to find out the consequences of the use of this literary technique through Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Where we are is who we are, Miss Moore always pointin out. Sugar nudges me in my pocket and winks. This basic institutional principle will be intensified if other factors such as race, class and sex add to it.

However, he proclaims that the base of sociolinguistics is on the fact that all dialects are created equal and standardization of a language is not founded on an acceptable standard but rather on an arbitrary standard.

Nevertheless, the cultural and political forces construct two drastically different views toward English dialects spoken by minorities like African Americans and Standard English.

The social commentary and story of sylvia in the lesson a short story by toni cade bambara

The s has been considered the golden era of African American literature in the way that the appropriateness of white critical theories for evaluation of black arts were called into question by Black Art Movement and as a result the marginalized black authors who were excluded from American Canon attracted the universal attention and they championed the establishment of African American literature as a distinctly black self-determination.

An outstanding feature of African American literature has been proved to be a distinctively variety of English language used prevalently among black communities in the 1. Even though the employing of African American vernacular English AAVE by black writers might at least partially be a reflection of a natural and inevitable process of linguistic transformation, the black writers devote it to overtly political and social issues.

Indeed for an outstanding number of black authors language goes beyond a mere tool of communication. African American Voices 2. Black English At least until recently A.

In fact, on one hand AAVE has been regarded as a failed version of Standard English spoken by black people, hence an inferior to the language spoken by whites; on the other hand, as a result of white hegemonic dictations, the black communities internalized the superiorities of standard English and the inferiority of AAVE as a deviated version of the former.

Consequently, African American critics were among the first to level a charge against the early African American writers who used dialect in their work.

Nevertheless, from mid-twentieth century onward African American authors has influentially used black dialect as a tool for new artistic and linguistic purposes which contributed to uncovering more layers of African American culture and they have received more recognition as they were subsumed under the category of black in the racial critique.

In her artistic hand language became a tool which represents innovative truth of black voices. The conflict between African American Vernacular English and Standard English is as outstanding as the economic inequalities between Whites and Blacks in the short story.

In fact, linguistically the textual frame of the story is American Standard English in which there is a black textual frame. Hence, the present article tries to highlight those distinct linguistic features which have the potentiality to reproduce black culture and black social and individual identity.

The black dialect which used to be an instrument for denigrating African American speakers, or even has been the topic of jokes and derogatory remarks and a subject for comedians, in the artistic hand of the author became a device to retell the history of the black people.

Hence the narrator and other children feel alienated from her which indeed is the consequence of their awareness of their being marginalized state by the dominant culture.

She makes them question the fairness of social and economic class stratification in a country which appears to be the representative of Democracy. However, the young kids particularly the narrator at least partially express their reactions linguistically.

A short linguistic survey of the story reveals different layers of black culture intended by the author. Both Heller and Katy M. John Baugh in his Black Street Speech asserts that these sorts of shortenings are very common for African American speakers Introducing Miss Moore, Sylvia asserts: Wright claims that deviation and the omissions of standard rules such as prepositions or conjunctions do not leave the meaning unclear.

However there are other evidences that not only the author but also the black dialect welcomes ambiguity. The plurality of the tense penetrates additional levels of meaning. An obvious notion which may be a frequent theme in African American fiction is the idea that past is not a finished action and present cannot be cut of future and past.

Neither culturally nor linguistically can the black be separated from African heritage. This presence of past in the present emphasizes on unfinalized aspect of black issues.

Lois Tyson, African American critics, concerning everyday racism argues: In many ways the most emotionally draining, stress-provoking forms of racism are the kind that happen to people of color every day, and these forms of racism are the kinds the rules- not exception.

For instance, white store clerks or security personnel often watch, or even follow, African Americans who come into their stores. And members of minority groups frequently encounter a lack of common civility from their white fellow Americans — they are ignored, they see white people grimace or roll their eyes, they overhear sarcastic comments made at their expense in the most mundane situation In Toni Cade Bambara's short story, "The Lesson," Miss Moore is a self-appointed advocate to a group of inner-city children in an effort to open their minds to the world and their potential in that.

Because of the use of the first person narrative, Toni Cade Bambara has elevated “The Lesson” from a social commentary and into a real work of literature. The emotional depth afforded by this technique is powerful, allowing the reader to feel what Sylvia .

Examples of a poem and two short stories that use symbolism; each written by a different poet to which I will compare, “I Stop Writing the Poem,” a poem by Tess Gallagher, “The Lesson”, a short story by Toni Cade Bambara and “The Story of an Hour,” a short story by Kate Chopin.

"The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara is a spirited story about a poor girl out of place in an expensive toy store (F.A.O Schwartz); it is a social commentary. The descriptions of Harlem and the characters in the story are very realistic and vivid.

Sylvia, the narrator of Toni Cade Bambara's short story "The Lesson," is definitely a developing character.

Sylvia cannot quite make sense of "the lesson" that Miss Moore has tried to teach the. Toni Cade Bambara's short story, "The Lesson," takes place in inner city New York.

The main character, Sylvia, is a fourteen year old African American girl, who tells the story in a first person narrative. Sylvia mentions Miss Moore, a teacher who felt that it was her duty to help underprivileged children learn.

“The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara | Essay Example