Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson” and Gary Soto’s “Behind Grandma’s House”

Analytically, it is clear that characters in Toni Cade Bambara's "The Lesson" and Gary Soto's "Beyond Grandma's Home" use formal language. It remains to be seen, however, what role this technique has in the presentation of facts in these works of art. The authors' use of foul language is ingrained in their message and the material delivered. Both "The Lesson" and "Beyond Grandma's Home" use filthy language to create emotions and highlight thematic themes. The coarse language used in these two piece of art are meant to provoke the required literal appeal, a feat that all authors would wish to attain. However, if this technique was not used then these works of art would lose the much-needed literal taste and the same would distort the characteristic message presented.


The characters in both “Greasy Lake” and “A & P are nineteen years old and they are all depicted in a manner concordant with this age bracket. The characters are young and hence they are depicted as young that is both in “Greasy Lake” and “A & P”. However, despite the similarity in age, characters from the two books are different in the manner in which they are portrayed by the authors. In A&P, Sammy is depicted as young and ambitious, somebody who knows how to work hard while in “Greasy Lake” the characters are portrayed as young and naïve. The three, Digby, Jeff and the narrator unlike their counterparts in A&P show a high level of nativity and this is a sound contrast.

Response to Students’ Posts


Response to Student One:

Your answer to the question on part one is satisfactory. However, I do not understand why you have adopted individual opinion rather than extracting your evidence from the book. Nonetheless, your explanation is clear and succinct, but would you please state how different the works would be if the coarse language was not adopted. Moving to part two, I think instead of showing the significance or relevance of the age “nineteen years”, you have given a narration. You ought to have shown how these characters are depicted with respect to their age. Nevertheless, it is great that you have successfully shown the differences between the characters.

Response to student Two:

In part one, your approach of comparing the coarseness of language in the two stories is great and inspiring. Furthermore, you have gone ahead to explain the reason for the coarseness of language which again is good. However, I think if the language used was cleaner then the effect would have gone beyond just impression. What about the meaning, don’t you think a different language would have given a twist to the story? Moving to part two, I agree with you that the age, nineteen years old is meant to depict immaturity and even to a greater extent naivety. Even so, I feel there is a greater level of redundancy bordering narration of the stories towards the end of your response in this part. You only ought to show how the characters are depicted but all in all the intended message and idea is understandable and acceptable.


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