Bambara's Lesson

Length: 2 Pages 433 Words

When Toni Cade Bambara wrote "The Lesson" she had a definite meaning in mind. The author wanted to stress the inappropriate dispersion of wealth in America. The main device Bambara uses to create her point is contrast. Sylvia, the young narrator, talks about how her family could pay for the rent and then some for the same cost as a toy clown. The difference between the incomes of Sylvia’s family and a person who could afford to buy the toy is vast. Another contrast made by Bambara was the difference in the neighborhoods that the story took place in. The small poor neighborhood in which the story started and finished was the Continue...


It was not a surprise when the girls were taken to bustling downtown New York and were awestruck. If parents take the time to teach their children about social classes and the differences in society, everyone will benefit. They owned their little neighborhood. An equal chance at happiness means an equal crack at the dough, don't it" (p. Another issue that Bambara stresses is the lack of teaching by the parents. She emphasizes this by having a stranger come into these children's lives and teach them about the "real world. Every child needs to learn the lessons of social classes at a young age, so that they know that they can rise above what they were born into. A part of the story that emphasizes this is when the children get out of the cab onto 5th avenue and all they see is "Everybody dressed up in stockings. A line from the end of the story sums this point up nicely: "I think...that this is not much of a democracy of you ask me. The issues presented in Bambara's story are prevalent in our society today. The parents and not a stranger should do the job of teaching these children the lessons of life.