Her teacher Miss Moore makes her to realize her underprivileged status which makes Sylvia to think about the social inequity that is prevailing in the world. “Brownies” by Z.Z. Packer is a story of a bunch of African American girls who during their summer camp come across a group of white girls. They believe that the white girls have racial abused them and they plan to avenge them. Laurel is narrating the story who is the protagonist evolving as a mature person. Both the stories are dealing with the coming-of-age of their central characters. The similarity in the stories is that both Sylvia and Laurel have realized the inequality of races prevalent in their world. The issues of racism and social disparity are presented from the point of view of children. Sylvia though comprehends this truth she refuses to express it whereas Laurel is forthright in conveying her feelings. In this paper we are going to focus on the similarities and differences in the self-realization experienced by Sylvia and Laurel, and the ways in which Bambara and Packer portray the theme of coming of age of their characters.
Sylvia in the story “The Lesson” is contented with her life even though she is living a life of poverty. Miss Moore, her teacher takes the responsibility of educating Sylvia and other children of her locality about the ways of the affluent people. She takes them to a toy store where the price of a sailboat evokes strong reactions from the children, “Hand-crafted sailboat of fiberglass at one thousand one hundred ninety-five dollars”. (Bambara). Sylvia is also astonished at the price and regards it as a waste of money, “What I want to know is," I says to Miss Moore though I never talk to her, I wouldnt give the bitch that satisfaction, "is how much a real boat costs? I figure a thousandd get you a yacht any day”. (Bambara). After returning from the toy shop the children realize the difference between their lives and other people who can ...Show more