A world of class and economic distinction emerged on a class of students from Harlem one day while on a trip with their teacher to FAO Schwartz Toy Store. Miss Moore intentionally targets expensive toys that are unobtainable for the children due to financial reasons; she does this in order to expose the children to what life is like for those who do not live in an oppressed community as them. This method of instruction has an impact so far on the children as they begin to contemplate the prices of extravagant items and the lifestyle of those who can afford these items: “Who are these people that spend that much for performing clowns and $1000 for toy sailboats? What kinda work they do and how they live and how come we ain 't in on it?” (Bambara 352) The longer, Sylvia thought about the question, the more anger she felt towards her teacher for bringing them to a place where they did not feel adequate enough. The goal of this trip was to rudely awaken the minds of a class full of youth that have been confined t...
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...in his literary essay on “The Lesson”, “rather than simply teaching a single lesson, the story is essentially about the value of lessons themselves, the value of learning and thinking.” (Cartwright 61)
“The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara contains significant themes of life and the value of an education. Bambara gives the readers insight on the poverty and struggle minorities endured while living in the ghetto slums of New York. The goal of the author was coherent and exemplified throughout the story; Bambara had plenty of goals when writing this story. Although the fight for racial equalities were apparent in “The Lesson,” this was not the only aspect being fought for. Social and economic equalities were also fought for in this story. Bambara’s goal was set loud and clear throughout this story: the fight for racial and socioeconomic equalities is never ending.
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