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Plato's Truth In The Lesson By Toni Cade Bambara

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Plato’s Truth in “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara
Imagine a prisoner who was born in a cave and have never seen anything besides a wall is one day released. When he leaves the cave and approaches the light, his eyes hurt and “he is not able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.” This metaphoric example shows that when a person is placed in an uncomfortable situation, he is first in denial. He doesn’t want to accept things that he sees as reality, continuing to live according to his old false perceptions. As he looks longer at the sun he slowly starts to realize that his perceptions could be wrong. He now sees the light and a new world, which he never thought exists. Sylvia, the heroine of the short story “The Lesson” by
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At first she is disturbed and angry from what she sees at the store. While her friends Sugar, Big Butt and Rossie are walking around having fun, Sylvia is having a hard time trying to figure out why toys cost so much. Just like the prisoner who got released she cannot understand if what she sees is real. For example, when she looks at the paperweight she says; "My eyes tell me it's a chunk of glass cracked with something heavy, and different-colored inks dripped into the splits, then the whole thing put in an oven or something. But for $480 it don't make sense". When she compares things she sees in her community with the new fancy toys at the toy story it just “don't make sense” for her. Although she is mad and frustrated, a positive change happens. She is now curious and forgets about this experience being a “boring ass game”. She asks herself questions: “Who are these people that spend that much for performing clowns and $1000 for toy sailboats? What kinda work they do and how they live and how come we ain't in on it?” Sylvia’s curiosity is stimulated. She wants to learn more about these people, about their jobs and why their life is different from her …show more content…
But discomfort is necessary for a positive change. Just like the prisoner, Sylvia was trapped in “cave” of misunderstanding and limitations. When she first leaves Harlem, she feels like the prisoner who leaves the cave and approaches the light for the first time. She is frustrated and angry to accept things that she sees as reality. Although she is angry and uncomfortable, her curiosity is stimulated. She starts asking herself questions and looking for answers. She realizes that her former view of “truth” was wrong, that there is a different world that she did not know about. She is motivated to change and her intellectual journey begins when she realizes she has to “think this day

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