Sylvia in The Lesson

Bambara has made the protagonist having the most developed character in the story through Sylvia, a young, poverty-stricken, black female whose kind is situated at a thought-provoking point. Indeed, she is a strong-willed girl, however, with further analysis on her character, I can say that Sylvia is a representation of the oppressed, subjugated and marginalized individuals. For Collins (128), women who are black happen to be located at a very interesting stance for the reason that they have the exceptional case of experiencing what she calls intersectionality, as they are situated in between the overpowering structures such as gender and race. Women are situated in a system of patriarchy which sees men to rule and be privileged in everything (Ticker 1197-1198). Women are the disadvantaged between the sexes who are always seen as the more helpless and more vulnerable beings compared to men. Women are judged as the weaker sex while men are the stronger ones. The experience of being an African-American girl is understood by Sylvia for she is one of them. Besides, Sylvia who belongs to the poor embodies the said class. Sylvia’s trip to midtown of New York City tells so much about her status as an impoverished young girl. She does not give the tip to the taxi driver just like what Miss Moore has said to her for she thinks she needs it much more than how much the driver needs it. She could not even afford any single stuff in the toy store which is certainly expensive and costs more…. Women are situated in a system of patriarchy which sees men to rule and be privileged in everything (Ticker 1197-1198). Women are the disadvantaged between the sexes who are always seen as the more helpless and more vulnerable beings compared to men. Women are judged as the weaker sex while men are the stronger ones. The experience of being an African-American girl is understood by Sylvia for she is one of them. Besides, Sylvia who belongs to the poor embodies the said class. Sylvia’s trip to midtown of New York City tells so much about her status as an impoverished young girl. She does not give the tip to the taxi driver just like what Miss Moore has said to her for she thinks she needs it much more than how much the driver needs it. She could not even afford any single stuff in the toy store which is certainly expensive and costs more than what the rest of the American-African community has allocated for their food consumption. Being in an economically deprived situation enables her to realize the things she does not possess. To be someone stricken by poverty is to be someone who suffers inequality. As well, her age of being young, I think that it signifies her subordination among those who are older than her. All these aspects of Sylvia’s character such as her gender, race, class and age, are affecting her identity in various degrees, which all contributes to her being dominated. These factors are intersecting together to contribute to her forms of oppression (Knudsen 61-76). The author, Bambara, has formulated the personality of Sylvia very profoundly for the readers to be able to see, think, and understand the position of someone who suffers from obvious oppression and inequality. On the one hand, another important aspect of Sylvia’s