"The Lesson" Is A Story About One African American Girl's Struggle With Her Growing Awareness Of Class Inequality. (Works Cited Included)

2661 words - 11 pages

"The Lesson" is a story about one African-American girl's struggle with her growing awareness of class inequality. The character Miss Moore introduces the facts of social inequality to a distracted group of city kids, of whom Sylvia, the main character, is the most cynical. The conflict between Sylvia and Miss Moore, "This nappy-head bitch and her goddamn college degree" (470), represents more than everyday dislike of authority by an adolescent. Sylvia has her own perception of the way things work and does not like to have that invaded. Sylvia knows in the back of her mind she is poor, but it does not bother her until others riches are put in her face. This sparks the lesson in this story "money ain't divided up right in this country" (471).This is a story from yesterday, when Harlem children didn't have good education or the money to spring for it. Bambara's tells us about a little girl who doesn't really know how to take it when a good teacher finally comes along. This girl's whole life is within the poverty stricken area and she does not see why she should try hard to succeed in her life. Poverty is a way of life for these children. Children tend not to be naturally aware of inequality; they must come to this knowledge through experience. Our economy is faced with the inequality of education and financial stability in homes.It is not the fault of our children; it is the fault of the situation they are forced to live in. Single parent or both parents homes living in substandard conditions. They are either on welfare or the parents or working all day just to make ends meet. No one is at home to help and encourage them to do their best and at school children feel no one cares. They live life from day to day without any goals. Content with the way things are because they do not of anything better.As in most, if not all low-income housing face this fact in their everyday lives. Our economy is too busy building jails to keep us in rather than trying to better education in the slum areas of our cities. Children grow up to know nothing except for killing, selling drugs, fighting, cursing, and all of the other negative things in "the hood". A better opportunity never came to them, a way out is not there and they feel what is there left to do. Our government always says we are equal and that we are one people, one nation, but my guess is that they have never been to the poorer areas of any city.Inequality is all around us and the more fortunate can ignore or be repulsed by the lower classes. It does not hurt them any, while mother worry about how bills are going to get paid and where their children next meal will come from. It as amazing how we pay athletes millions of dollars a year to entertain us where teachers get little to nothing educate us. Our priorities are not where they should be. The lack of knowledge being installed into our children is the problem. How can we solve it? What can we do to better our children's future?The poorer get poorer...

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