Bambara The Lesson

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Lesson Learned Toni Cade Bambara creates a character that is way too smart to ignore what is happening around her in the real world. Throughout the story story, she learns that there is a difference between the rich and the poor, and even though it isn’t fair is not fair, it is very real. By the end, Sylvia, a rebellious, “terrorize the West Indian kids and take their hair ribbons and their money” (625) kind of girl with terrible people skills, living in a typical African American neighborhood finds she experiences a huge attitude adjustment in regards to her outlook on not just money, but life in Bambara’s The Lesson. In the beginning, Sylvia viewed Miss Moore as the enemy. She and her cousin Sugar thought of her as, “this lady moved on…show more content…
Miss Moore brings the children into the toy store so they can walk around and most all of them feel out of place. Sylvia thinks to herself, “I mean, damn, I have never ever been shy about doing nothing or going nowhere … We all walkin on tiptoe and hardly touchin the games and puzzles and things” (627). She is realizing that these things are worth a lot of money, money that she does not have. After learning about the sailboat, Sylvia’s mood changes and she asks to leave, when they get back to the train she thinks about how her family is different from the people who can afford all the expensive things. “Thirty-five dollars could buy new bunk beds for Junior and Gretchen's boy. Thirty-five dollars and the whole household could go visit Grand-daddy Nelson in the country. Thirty-five dollars would pay for the rent and the piano bill too” (628). She becomes frustrated because it is finally making sense to her that her family is impoverished and that thirty-five dollars would be considered a luxury to them, she knows now that there is definitely economic inequality out there and it is not within her power to fix.
In the end, I believe that Sylvia has transformed as a character throughout the story. She went from a delinquent little girl not knowing about the world around her to a girl who understands the world around her, understands the socioeconomic inequality, and who thinks, “ain’t nobody gonna
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