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Two Very Different Lessons: The Lesson By Toni Cade Bambara Versus O By Tim Blake Nelson

1241 words - 5 pages

I feel the story “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara has many similar qualities to the movie “O” by Tim Blake Nelson. The book and the movie are about two different people who have grown up in similar neighborhoods, are of the same race, and both of the characters had very disrespectful attitudes towards their elders who they should have been taught to respect. Throughout this story and movie, both of the main characters end up learning a very substantial lesson. Sylvia, who is the main character in “The Lesson”, learns about being thankful for what she has, and not taking anything for granted. Oden, who is the main character in the movie “O”, learns that he should not take advice from someone that he cannot trust. Although both the movie and the story teach lessons, the lesson that Sylvia and Oden learn are very different lessons and have different impacts on Sylvia and Oden’s lives.
Sylvia and Oden both grew up in the city. Oden often refers to where he grew up as the “hood”. Both of these characters have different problems in their lives that have made them the way that they are. The biggest similarity I can see in these characters is the fact that they are defiant towards their elders, and they both have attitude problems. Although they are both rude and defiant, they each have their own way of doing it.
When Sylvia is being rude and defiant to others, she is loud about it and she doesn’t hide what she is thinking. One example of this is when she was at F.A.O Schwartz with Miss.Moore, who is her neighbor, and she loudly asks what she is doing there. Sylvia is showing that she doesn’t have respect for her elders and she does not care if she is acting rude. Instead of being calm and trying to see what Miss.Moore is trying to show her, she is miserable the entire time and cannot wait until they get to leave.
The lesson Sylvia learns is towards the end of the story when her friend, Sugar, makes a comment that really gets Sylvia thinking. Sugar says “Imagine for a minute what kind of society in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven (101). I believe this is the point where Sylvia really learns why Miss.Moore took them there. I feel that the lesson Sylvia learned was to not take anyone or anything for granted. I found this to be the lesson because I think Sylvia learns that her family could be spending thousands of dollars on toys, but instead they choose to take care of their family.
Oden has a different way of being disrespectful to his elders. In the movie “O”, Oden is accused of raping the dean’s daughter, Desi. At this point in the movie, Oden begins to figure out that he is being set up by his so-called friend Hugo. Oden may act like he is very calm and polite when he is talking to his coach and the dean, you can begin to see another side of him when he is outside the office. Once Oden leaves the dean’s office, he tells Hugo that he should not mess with him again because that will be...

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