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The narrator and protagonist of Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “The Lesson” is a young girl named Sylvia (Miss Moore addresses Sylvia by name in dialogue near the end of the story). Sylvia may be considered a dynamic character because she evolves over the course of the story. At the beginning, Sylvia and her friends do not understand why Miss Moore takes them to expensive shops in New York City. However, after some discussion, the children begin to realize lessons dealing with socioeconomic class, and they become critical of their society. At the very end of the story, Sylvia says, “But ain’t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin,’ to suggest that she does not intend to let anyone look down on her because she and her family do not have a wealthy lifestyle.
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