Disproportional Society

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Disproportional Society Throughout the story, “The Lesson,” Toni Cade Bambara writes about a young girl named Sylvia and her friends, Flyboy, Fat Butt, Junebug, Sugar and Rosie, who are just beginning to learn about the indifferences between classes in society. Bambara introduces Miss Moore, a black, educated, middle class woman, as their teacher who challenges the children about these lessons and realities of their society. Bambara gives her disparaging views on the irrational differences between the poor and rich social statuses. Though sympathetic to the plight of the poor, Bambara is criticizing the dominant values and beliefs of the poor children’s neighborhood, those of the extravagant rich, and a society in which there is such a huge gap between rich and poor. Bambara, in the introduction, utilizes her characters to show her opinions about the values and beliefs of the children’s poor neighborhood. She uses the children to represent poor people because it is easier to teach young children lessons. Bambara doesn’t ever give a description of any of the characters except for Miss Moore. Bambara does this to show that there is a bigger idea than a story with a plot, but that all the characters and events in this book represent a larger more important idea. The book begins with Sylvia, the main character and narrator, saying, “Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young a foolish and me and sugar were the only ones just right…” In this quote, Bambara gives her audience a look into her opinion of how many second class citizens, many being uneducated, look at themselves and the world around. Bambara uses this quote to show that the second class doesn’t see the world and monetary value the same as the wealthy cl... ... middle of paper ... ...ds the wealthy, Bambara doesn’t portray them in a negative way, but instead shows her sentiment for the lower class of society. She shows a sense of pity but at the same time a sense of hope for the poor class. She shows her pity and her opinion through Sylvia. In the beginning, she shows that Sylvia is just accepting that she is poor and believes that society is in a fiscal equilibrium, but towards the end of the book after Miss Moore has gotten her point across in the toy store, Sylvia becomes more determined and more aware of the society in which she lives. She shows this with the last 2 lines of the story. The quote by Sylvia, as mentioned before, “She can run if she want to and even run faster. But ain’t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin.” This quote also shows the beginning of the process that needs to take place for a poor person to become successful in life.
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