The Lesson

Length: 4 Pages 886 Words

Anger is such a common word in everyday language and society. It is an emotion, a violent passion that is usually caused by real or supposed injury. Anger can result from something as major as bodily harm or as trivial as not being able to afford a toy. In Toni Cade Bambara=s short story AThe Lesson,@ the audience is shown how anger can be expressed at an early age. One would think that children in their carefree lives would not allow the injustices of society to cause them anger. Bambara=s use of child to portray her feelings about the value systems at work in the dominant culture and in her own life, helps her to grasp her audience=s attention and forces them to continue reading to find out the end consequences. Sylvia, the main character in the story, inspires Bambara=s audience to take a look at the economic class structure in the American society. In AThe Lesson,@ Bambara reveals her anger about the economic value systems in America through Sylvia. Sylvia is a ten-year old African American girl who is on an outing with the neighborhood children. Miss Moore, a lady who feels that it is her duty to teach the kids certain lessons that will aid them later in life, is the leader of this journey. Miss Moore feels that it is her r Continue...


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Not many people in Sylvias neighborhood has been to college or plans on going. She hates Miss Moore because she forces her to see the world as it really is. Bambara uses this emotion, not only to interest her audience, but to force them to feel what Sylvia feels. Miss Moore refuses to let her education go to waste and therefore takes it upon herself to teach the children about the value systems in America. This anger is what keeps Bambaras audience. She intends to work harder so that she can accomplish her own personal goals. Sylvia learns and so does the audience from Sugars observations that A. This is displayed when she says that A. Miss Moore is not the problem, Sylvia is rude to her because she is the one who forces Sylvia to understand the system. The fact that there are rich people in the world that can buy basically anything with their money and Sylvia cannot do the same A.

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