Looking At Literature Reflecting Communities English Literature Essay


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Another thing in the short story "The Lesson", the story focuses on the need for education and the results of having an education.  It illustrates how an education may not be fun or easy to obtain but it is necessary for a positive change to happen.  The story looks at types of pride, leadership, and ways people can respect or disrespect each other in a community.  Sylvia is the person telling the story and she tells it through her understanding. She tells it in a way that gives the reader a wider look at her community.  By comparing, she learns different views of people and things. She often compares Miss Moore to other adults.  Sylvia describes how different Miss Moore is. By describing her, she indicates some cultural standards of that time, like wearing nappy hair (DiYanni, R., 2007, p 227) at a time when African-American women wear their hair straight.  The author uses Sylvia to indicate the importance of religion in that community on page 428 in our text (DiYanni, R., 2007) and she uses language to illustrate the different type of people who live her community.  An example would be when Mercedes wants to be like the white people who shop at F. A. O. Schwrz, and Flyboy wants people to feel sorry for him because of his poverty stricken life. Toni C. Bambara creates characters with issues that face poor people and minorities in the United States during the 1960s and does this in an art form. 

In keeping with the same analysis of literature, another example of a short story that demonstrates how literature reflects the community is "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner. (DiYanni, R., 2007, p. 79)  Faulkner uses "A Rose for Emily" to address themes of change and progress, as it relates to the American South. He was inspired to write about this because he came from a family that once owned a plantation and he had a family history in the South.

In his Short story "A Rose for Emily" he describes individuals within Jefferson like Miss Emily, the older men and ladies, the town leaders.  It seems like he is using them as symbols for the larger issues that the South was facing at the turn of the twentieth century.  An example of how he uses the characters as symbols of the larger issues in the South is in the character of Homer Barron.  Homer Barron is the Yankee construction foreman who becomes Emily Grierson's first real boyfriend. His relationship with Emily is considered scandalous because he is a Northerner and because it doesn't appear as if they will ever be married. In fact, it is known that he drinks with younger men in the Elks' Club and he has remarked that he is not a marrying man.  The two don't care about the gossip until Emily's cousins from Alabama arrive.  Homer leaves town until the cousins go back home.  Another example is by some of the old men wearing brushed Confederate uniforms at Miss. Emily's funeral which gives the reader another clue about the time, beliefs and location in this story. 

      Are we done yet?

After completing this reflection of how literature reflects communities, and how the individuals and society affect each other, I have illustrated how it reflects communities using context of time, culture, settings, attitudes, and beliefs of that time.  I have given examples of how literature uses language and how culture insight can be used to provide a rich and revealing historical context for a literary work.  I have included examples of words and language used in the literature that helps the reader get a sense of the community and the society in it. In conclusion, I have given examples to elaborate upon these issues and demonstrate insight of the way literature reflects communities, cultures, individuals and society.  Now that I have completed this reflection, I feel that I am able to understand literature much easier and I will be able to use this knowledge in my future classes, career and everyday life

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