Miss Moore´s Teachings in Toni Cade Bambara's “The Lesson”

The lessons that are taught through experience are usually the ones that stick with children for a lifetime. In Toni Cade Bambara's “The Lesson”, Miss Moore, a prominent character in the story, teaches a lesson to underprivileged children growing up in Harlem. Bambara's work is described as “stories [that] portray women who struggle with issues and learn from them.” (Vertreace, Par. 48) Bambara uses Miss Moore and her characteristics to teach Sylvia and the other children about social inequality and the idea of pursuing personal aspirations regardless of social status. Miss Moore has many admirable characteristics; she's intelligent, patient and caring. One of Miss Moore's defining qualities is her intelligence. Her academic skills and self-presentation is noticeable through her college degree and use of “proper speech” (Bambara, 385). Miss Moore also makes her intelligence evident from the methods she uses to teach Sylvia and the other children. Unlike planting them in classrooms, she takes them out on trips to show them the real world. Despite all the insults she receives from th...

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