HeidariEnglish 10230 March 2015Character analysisA “short story “is a narrative with a developed theme but, is shorter than a novel (OxfordDictionaries). The term “dynamic” means, a character personality changes over the course of a narrative, or appears to have the capacity for a change (Wheeler). The term “protagonist” means, the main character in a work, on which the author focuses most of the narrative attention (Wheeler).
An “unreliable character” is character who describes what they observe, but misinterprets those events because of personal bias, or restricted understanding (Wheeler). The term “theme” means the key idea or statement that controls the entire work (Wheeler). In the short story” The Lesson “, Sylvia is a dynamic character because her character appears to have the capacity for change from insight she encountered. She is the protagonist because she the narrative is focused on her character.
Sylvia is also an unreliable character. She misinterprets things and has a restricted understanding of the society she lives in. The theme of, “the Lesson “is maturity. Sylvia actions show that she went from acting like an immature child to a mature adolescence from the insight she encounters.In the beginning of the story, the protagonist Sylvia is acting like an immature child. The meaning of “immature” is to have or show emotions or to have the intelligence development of someone younger (Oxford Dictionaries).
Sylvia would have moments through the story where she would mimic someone who was younger. Sylvia acts as a bully by calling the other characters names. “And she was black as hell, cept for her feet, which were fish-white and spooky” (Bambara). “Fat Butt already wasting his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich like the pig he is” (Bambara).
Making fun of others because the person is different is common with young children. Sylvia is also an immature because she thought of ideas on how she could bully other characters. “And would much rather snatch Sugar and go to the Sunset and terrorize the West Indian kids and take their hair ribbons and their money to” (Bambara). That idea states that Sylvia has done it before. She knows where exactly where to find the “west Indian kids” and what things they have..
At the end of the story, the insight Sylvia encounters makes her mature. The term “mature” means to have an advanced stage of mental or emotional development (OxfordDictionaries). Sylvia has shown numerous ways that she has an advanced stage of thinking by saying, “Don’t nobody want to go for my plan, which is to jump out at the next light and run off to the first bar-b-que we can find” (Bambara). Referring to the previous quote , it is clear that Sylvia is quite clever. She is quick to make plans and the typical child would be afraid to jump out of a taxi or make plans like that. The real-life encounter at the toy store made Sylvia completely mature.
Sylvia doesn’t understand why some people are buying overpriced toys with little value and that is not an essential item when you can get it cheaper. Sylvia states, “Who’d pay all that when you can buy a sail boat set for a quarter at Pops” (Bambara). Sylvia understands that she couldn’t afford the toys in the store and if her family did have the money they would use it for essentials. If her family had thirty-five dollars could buy beds, a vacation, and pay for rent. If Sylvia did ask for a clown for her birthday, her mother would think she is crazy.
Her mother would ask, “You wanna who that cost what…she’d say, cocking her head to the side to get a better view of the hole in my head” (Bambara). Her personal thoughts about the toys and money make Sylvia mature as a character. The toy store experience changed her insight for the rest of the narrative.