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Kristi James James 1
8 March, 2000
The Man Who Was Almost A Man by Richard Wright and The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara share a common theme; young individuals lost in society. Both stories portray their main characters as teenagers who haven’t quite figured out their position in society. They both appear to be strong-willed and independent, but in reality they are not. Both use slang language due to their environment, have difficult financial situations, earn what they think is a sense of responsibility, and insufficient guilty among others who are more prestigious in society than they are. The two main characters, David and Sylvia are set out to learn valuable lessons. In the end, however, neither of them have actually learned anything.
The main characters in both essays feel confident in power over their family and friends. Dave seems very confident in his environment in the beginning of the story. “One of these days he was going to get a gun and practice shooting, then they couldn’t talk to him as though he were a little boy”(Wright 354). This statement tells the reader that Dave isn’t afraid of much, and that he seems to be able to handle himself in a difficult situation. This, however isn’t the case at all. Sylvia also shares the same confidence. She almost selfishly explains that “Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish and me and Sugar were the only ones just right,”(Bambara 457). This implies that she is the holder of knowledge in a world of uneducated people, when in reality, she is the one who is miseducated and
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The Lesson, Bambara, The Man Who Was Almost a Man
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