Throughout the story “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, it highlights the relationship between Sylvia and her cousin Sugar. I think their friendship adds a lot to the story because it makes it more exciting. The first sentence states, “Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish and me and Sugar were the only ones just right. . .” It demonstrates how they are super connected to one another. On page 113, Sylvia remembers, “I just couldn’t go through with the plan. Which was for me to run up to the altar and do a tap dance while Sugar played the nose flute and messed around in the holy water.” I really liked this story because the two cousins are so fun-loving and always getting into trouble. Even though “The Lesson” teaches the children about money, their friendship adds another level to the plot. And towards the end of the story, the text states, “‘Equal chance to pursue happiness means an equal crack at the dough, don’t it?’ Miss Moore is besides herself and I am disgusted with Sugar’s treachery. So I stand on her foot one more time to see if she’ll shove me” (115). When Sugar pays attention to Miss Moore and learns from her, Sylvia is angry because she doesn’t like Miss Moore. In the end, they race to Hascombs and everything is good. Overall, I loved the story “The Lesson” and I especially loved Sylvia and Sugar.
In “Escape from Spiderhead,” Jeff, the protagonist, faces internal struggles throughout the story. They ultimately drive him to commit suicide at the end. On page 67, the text states, “‘I don’t want you to Darkenfloxx Heather. . . I don’t want you to Darkenfloxx anybody. . . ” Abnesti asks Jeff to choose Darkenfloxx for either Heather or Rachel. Jeff isn’t in love with either of them but he respects them as humans and doesn’t want them to suffer. This is an example of mutual recognition, something that Abnesti doesn’t understand. Further on in the story, the text states, “Heather. . . dissasemble the chair while continuing to drive her head into the wall. . .” She is given the Darkenfloxx and feels the full affects of the lethal drug. As a result, Jeff is crying because he doesn’t want to see her suffer. And on page 80, Jeff lays his struggles to rest when he commits suicide. Internally, he says, “No, I thought, no thanks, I’ve had enough.” This is very tragic yet such an important moment. The whole story, Jeff had to do what Abnesti told him and this is his final act to go against the system. We don’t know if Rachel will be given Darkenfloxx but Jeff is freed from the oppression.