Ethical Criticism: Literature and Beyond
In the course of one’s life, there are times when one will go through a situation that brings about a life changing experience. Through these experiences, one may or may not have the opportunity to reach deep down in the depths of their souls to bring about their true self. I am a strong believer that everyday is a learning experience to make one’ life push forth into the right path. Everyday experiences are life lessons taken to heart to make a similar situation turn for the betterment of the individual. Ethical criticism is the examination of a work of art, in this case literary work, in order to reveal its system of morality, which in turn has the capability to promote good or bad behavior. Ethical critics are convinced that literature’s job is to teach moral lessons, that is why they oversimplify and transform every text into a moral fable.
In other words, we cannot stop being what we as humans are-----social beings. Because of the complex relations with others our life is filled with moral judgments, practical moral reasoning and moral considerations.
In the short story by Toni Bambara, “The Lesson”, seems to show us the readers how a simple trip to a toy story can change the heart of a young child, trying to find herself as an individual. The trip to the toy store is a life experience for the children, especially Sylvia. Some experiences change a person and their outlook profoundly. The process of growing up can be gradual, but when a transformation occurs abruptly and unexpectedly it can be difficult to handle. Being the main character in “The Lesson”, Sylvia learns a lesson about social class and implications of wealth and in the process loses some of the innocence that characterizes childhood.
During the course of the day, Sylvia seems to be the only one to realize the reason behind the trip to the toy store. Even though, Sylvia resists this lesson; the changes that take place in her are very...