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Toni Cade Bambara was an African-American civil rights activist and documentarian who has published a number of books. "The Lesson," by Bambara, is a short storey with a plot description, analysis, and themes. Discover who Bambara was and why she is viewed as a narrator with a snarky attitude. One of Toni Cade Bambara's most well-known stories, The Lesson, is a favourite choice among students. Sylvia, a little girl, is the first-person narrator. It takes place in New York City. In the 1960s, Sylvia is about ten years old and lives in Harlem. She's black and a little enraged, but she has no idea why she's upset or how that relates to her race. Though that's not to suggest she isn't smart. She, on the other hand, is quite sharp, as evidenced throughout the novel. Uncover what she experiences on a significant day in her life in this lesson.
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'The Lesson' is set on an apparently regular day in Harlem, most likely in the 1960s. The narrator, Sylvia, and a small number of kids in the neighbourhood go to an F.A.O Schwartz toy store in a different area of town. Miss Moore, a well-educated black woman who regularly takes the children in the community on educational expeditions, joins them. Sylvia states unequivocally that she would rather be doing anything else. Although a toy store may appear to be an unexpected location for a field trip, Miss Moore has a valid point to make. The kids are taken aback by the $480 price tag on a memento. 'It's to weigh paper down so it doesn't spread and make your desk untidy,' Miss Moore explains. Sylvia makes fun of the other kids and attempts to get them to misbehave, but they're more fascinated in the $1,195 handmade toy sailboat. 'Well, what did you think of F.A.O. Schwartz?' Miss Moore asks the youngsters at the end of the day. 'White people are crazy,' one of the kids says. Sylvia is disturbed when she returns home that evening after learning about systemic inequality and economic disparity. 'Miss Moore is looking at me with sadness,' I thought. And there's something strange going on in my chest, which I can feel.' Sylvia has learnt an important life lesson as she and her cousin Sugar walk off to explore.
The kids are from a low-income neighbourhood, possibly Harlem. They reside in apartments with winos in the stairwells and halls. Miss Moore refers to them as slums. She takes the kids to Fifth Avenue, which is home to some of the nation's most expensive properties. For many, the first step over their financial level could be as simple as a taxi journey. Some of the children "are captivated with the metre ticking," implying that they have never seen anything like this before. The first thing the kids notice in the window is a $300 microscope. The clear disparity is that neither of their families could afford to purchase it, whilst other parents could. The educational opportunity gap is another source of inequity. The children have no idea what a microscope is for. Because the microscope is so expensive, it isn't a part of their reality, and the information it represents isn't either. Miss Moore and Sugar make the most direct statements regarding wealth disparity at the end of their conversation. Sugar estimates that the group's annual food costs are likely less than the cost of the vessel. Miss Moore wonders what kind of society has people who can afford a toy that can feed a family of six or eight people. Sugar claims that if people don't have an equal chance to make money, it isn't a democratic.
Miss oore is attempting to persuade the pupils to take action that will have a positive impact on society. This would necessitate their standing out and speaking up, to be unique. Miss Moore, with her "nappy hair, decent speech, and no makeup," is a wonderful example of this. She also does not go to church and does not use her first name. The first step is to inform the children there is something unjust about which they should be upset. Miss Moore achieves this by emphasising wealth inequality, which we have already discussed. Sylvia recalls one of Miss Moore's refrains on the return train ride, "We are who we are because of where we are... However, this does not have to be the case." "Poor people have to wake up and demand their portion of the pie," she says she wants in return. She wants the kids to understand that where they grow up does not have to limit them. The word "demand" implies that they will have to take action. She's attempting to give them sufficient power to take the appropriate actions. Sugar exhibits a nascent sense of self-awareness as she interacts with Miss Moore. Sugar continues, "pulling [her] off her feet as she never did before," while Sylvia tries to physically scare her into silence.
It's also clear that Miss Moore is contributing to the community by assisting in the education of the youngsters. Bambara may be implying that black people must aid one another in order to transcend racial and economic disparities. Even if the person is not a church member like Miss Moore. Throughout the storey, Bambara appears to be relying on the practical rather than the spiritual, maybe implying that change occurs not only from assisting one another but also from being practical. Bambara's use of religion as a vehicle for progress makes little sense in the storey. Miss Moore's own education, on the other hand, is being used to assist the children. Whether or if each youngster enjoys it. Though one thing is for certain: Sylvia's visit to F.A.O. Schwartz has left an impression on her, and she is beginning to think differently. This is something that can be considered a plus. At least one child has benefited from Miss Moore's efforts to teach the local children. It is as though Sylvia recognises that there is a lesson to be learnt, but she needs time to find out what it is.
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