Lewis and The Lesson

Lewis and The Lesson - Hinojosa 1 Andre Hinojosa Writing...

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Andre Hinojosa Writing 39A Bruce McKay December 1, 2008 Lewis’s Lesson In “The Lesson” young Sylvia and her friends are mentored by Ms. Moore, an educated woman, about society and perhaps the subtleties of life. However, being kids as they are, they seem to rebel against these lessons and keep to themselves in their only little “rings”. Lewis describes these “inner rings” in his speech given at the University of London as “certainly unavoidable” (Lewis 103). Through an analysis of Lewis and his theory on these inner rings, we can better understand the subtle lessons presented before Sylvia and her friends. We can see through an analysis of both texts that Sylvia and her friends have created their own ring, Sylvia’s fear of exclusion from other rings, as well as a deeper insight of Sylvia’s character. According to Lewis, “A particular slang, the use of particular nicknames, an allusive manner of conversation, are the marks. But it is not constant. It is not easy, even at a given moment, to say who is inside and who is outside…When it is very secure and comparatively stable in membership it calls itself "we”” (Lewis 101). We are all familiar with cliques and gangs, we’ve seen them at school and work but Lewis also explains that these rings are as simple as inside jokes or nicknames with friends. Therefore Lewis explains that as much as you may not want to be in a “ring” or clique, you cant avoid it and find yourself in another ring excluding 1
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others you don’t want to associate with. They are “unavoidable” and we naturally find ourselves in them. In “The Lesson” we immediately see that Sylvia and her friends are in such an “Inner Ring” by the way they exclude and judge Ms. Moore. “ And we kinda hated her too, hated the way we did the winos who cluttered up our parks…” (Bombara 38) The repetition of “we” and the association of Sylvia and her friends excluding this one character helps us infer through Lewis’s text that they are in fact involved in their own Inner Ring. They exclude Ms. Moore and
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This note was uploaded on 08/30/2011 for the course WRITING 39A taught by Professor Keeler during the Fall '08 term at UC Irvine.

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Lewis and The Lesson - Hinojosa 1 Andre Hinojosa Writing...

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