Summary Of The Lesson By Toni Cade Bambara

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In The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara, a group of uneducated children learn about the injustice of the distribution of wealth. Using symbolism, the author is able to educate the children and the audience of the importance of fighting for their share of the dream through the use of Miss Moore, the toy store, and their diction. Miss Moore is a college graduate who has seen life outside of the ghetto. “Miss Moore was her name. The only woman on the block with no first name”. She has attained a higher status than the rest of the community. To be called by one’s last name is a symbol of respect. It also distances her from others and shows a lack of familiarity. She becomes a symbol of arrogance in the community. The adults mock her for her …show more content…

“Imagine for a minute what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven”. The children are beginning to see the unfairness in the division of wealth. Poorer families do not have the luxury of wasting money on frivolous toys. “I could see me askin my mother for a $35 birthday clown. ‘You wanna who that costs what?’ she’d say, cocking her head to the side to get a better view of the hole in my head. Thirty-five dollars could buy new bunk beds for Junior and Gretchen’s boy”. Poor families living in destitution are resourceful, “‘my sailboat cost me about fifty cents’”. Even though they do not have the financial benefits, the children play with toys they make themselves. They value money because there is less of it so it goes to the important things in life. The impoverished value food and beds over toys. Rich families that are not burdened by insufficient funds value material possessions and luxury items. They still have the necessities; however, they are not burdened by the lack of food or beds. Those born rich are able to live life not realizing the struggles of the poor. Poor families see money and associate that with food. “‘You know, Miss Moore, I don’t think all of us here put together eat in a year what that sailboat costs’”. Even the children understand the hardships that a lack of money can cause. These people value money because they

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