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The Lesson Essay

1217 words - 5 pages

The Lesson"The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara is a very well written piece of history. In this story, we look at the lessons of life. We can choose to learn from them or we can choose to ignore them and go on in our ignorance, not growing, and not developing as persons. I believe these are the themes of Toni Bambara's 'The Lesson.' The story analyzes the reactions of a group of poor children to a visit to an expensive toy store guided by Ms. Moore. Ms. Moore tries to teach the children that there is difference between the wealth of rich and poor society.Bambara's tale tells about a little girl who does not really know how to take it when a good teacher finally does come along. The narrator of the story, Sylvia's (who is also one of the street kids) life is within the poverty-stricken area and she does not see why she must try hard. The teacher, Ms. Moore shows the kids what is all about by taking them to a rich toy store, one in which a single toy costs more than year's supply of food. In the beginning of the story, we are acquainted with Sylvia's reaction towards Ms. Moore. She states, "Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish and me and Sugar were the only ones just right, this lady moved on our block with nappy hair and proper speech and no makeup. And quite naturally we laughed at her, laughed the way we did at the junk man who went about his business like he was some big-time president and his sorry-ass horse his secretary." This shows that they are not use to seeing an educated black person like Ms. Moore in their neighborhood. They did not understand what kind of person was Ms. Moore so they laughed and made fun of her.Throughout the short story, Miss Moore tries to influence kids such as Sugar, Flyboy, Fat Butt, Junebug, Q.T., and Rosie Giraffe. However, it is very difficult for Miss Moore to influence these children because of their current social standing and attitudes. Miss Moore influences these kids to be the best they can be by showing them what the can acquire with the right motives. It was obvious that it was difficult for Miss. Moore to teach and influence these children because the main character Sylvia and sugar hated her. Sylvia states, "And we kinda hated her too, hated the way we did the winos who clutter up our parks and pissed on our handball walls and stank up our hallways and stairs so you couldn't halfway play hide-and-seek without a goddamn gas mask." Though they hated her they still acquired good guidance from Miss. Moore in her teaching for the day.Ms. Moore who is an educated teacher with a college degree guides the young kids on hot summer days to acquire greater things in life by on trip to the streets of New York on Fifth Avenue. In the beginning, kids are very bored by her questions about money and their parent's income. The Narrator states, "So we heading down the street and she's boring us sill about what things cost and what our parents make and how much goes for rent and how money...

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