The Deeper Meanings Within The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara

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The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara is a short story about a group of kids who travel to the upscale part of town to get an idea of how inequality really is within society. A lady that goes by the name Miss Moore totes around these children, and the day trip to the upscale part of town was to be a lesson to the children that society is full of unfairness and inequality. The point that she was trying to make in my opinion is that if you want to have the ability to afford glamorous items of that nature you must work hard, and by hard she meant harder than those who were born into privileged families. The children from this story were not from a wealthy family but that of a poorer descent. The children are young but Miss Moore feels they are of the maturity level to understand the teaching she is trying to get across; from the story it seems that Miss Moore is mistaken in thinking they can understand her lessons until Sugar finally speaks up. Sylvia is the protagonist in this short story and the narrator as well, and it begins with her describing her daily activities, which usually end up with her and the neighboring kids spending time with Miss Moore. Miss Moore is new to the neighborhood and is described as “Nappy hair” and “No makeup” by Sylvia who has an overall distaste towards Miss Moore (Reid 413). The parents of the neighboring kids also referred to as “cousins” by Sylvia don’t like Miss Moore too much, but tend to pawn off their kids on her so the kids can get some sort of education out of the educated lady (413). Sylvia and her close friend Sugar end up getting stuck with Miss Moore on a regular basis and on this particular day they end up getting in a cab with Miss Moore thinking they were going to the nearby subway. Well i... ... middle of paper ... ...ow I would feel the same way if I were Sylvia. After spending the day looking at how the other half live, I would strive to become a self-made individual. I feel that is what the author is trying to accomplish in her story. She wants it to be known that you can become anything you want with a little bit of motivation, and that’s what Ms. Moore did when she took the kids to the toyshop. She gave Sylvia the motivation and drive to strive for something better then what she had. There are several different emotions and routes that Sylvia or anyone could have felt after her experience, and what she chose was to be angry. Her anger will drive her to accomplish her goals. “The Lesson”, will have several different meanings for different people, but what I took away from this story is that if you weren’t born with it you can still obtain it even if society is against you.

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