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The Lesson Essay Research Paper The theme

The Lesson Essay, Research Paper

The theme in “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara appears to be a lesson on

Social Class and having a choice which society you choose to live in. Miss. Moore who

takes on this responsibility to educate the young ones has more then a lesson to teach, but

a challenging group of city kids to come by. Sylvia and Sugar which seems to be the

leader of the group of neighborhood kids gives Miss. Moore that challenge and not give

her the satisfaction. Sylvia’s stubborn and stern attitude is sear towards Miss. Moore

perhaps Sylvia got a bad impression of Miss. Moore from all that was said about her by

the grown-ups.

The narrator speaks as a second person and to me Sylvia is the narrator in the

story. When the narrator speaks it is she would always say “I” and when Miss. Moore

asked Sylvia she states “I’m mad, but I won’t give her that satisfaction”. The story takes

place in what some people might call the projects, or the gutto but in this case it’s called

the slums by Miss, Moore. Miss. Moore starts and finishes be telling them “what things

cost and what their parents make and how money ain’t divided right in this country”

which is already part of what the lesson Miss. Moore is trying to come across. I feel that

Miss. Moore kept an eye on Sylvia the most then Sugar, Junebug, Flyboy, Rosie and

Mercede because Miss. Moore wants to get the message through to Sylvia, plus Sylvia is

the one who influences Sugar and the other kids.

When they arrived on Fifth Avenue that was when Sylvia and Sugar realize that

the society they are surrounded by is nothing like the one they live in. To me Sylvia

might have been kind of intimidated by her surroundings on Fifth Avenue that’s why she

hesitated to go into F.A.O Schwarz. “So me and Sugar turn the corner where the entrance

is, but when we got there I kinda hung back” that was the line that gave me the

impression. Sylvia ,Sugar and the rest of the kids gets a taste of society on Fifth Avenue,

but it was miss. Moore who gives them the chance to experience it for themselves.

Society is often perceived as a rich and fashionable social class depending on how

you want to put it, but to the characters in the story of “The Lesson” They are naive, they

are experiencing something that is totally new and it would be understandable if they

didn’t get Miss. Moore whole point of bring them to Fifth Avenue. It was obvious that

Sugar and Mercede didn’t get the point they only know that white people are crazy

because of the prices they pay for a toy and fur coats. They were given a choice to

change it all and be able to afford things white folks buy and live in a society they’ve

seen on Fifth Avenue. Although, Sylvia never wanted to give Miss. Moore the

satisfaction I think that she was the only one who actually got the point and was thinking

of what her future holds for her, plus she knows what she wants

From my perspective this symbolizes different social classes, and I would say the

difference in opinion each character has in the society they’ve encounter. I personally

like the title of “The Lesson” it speaks for itself and I think that by the title it really

attracts a readers attention because of curiosity as to what the lesson is about.