Summary Of The Lesson By Toni Cade Bambara

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“The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara is a first-person narrative that takes place in the slums of the Harlem in New York City. They seem to live in poverty as one gets the idea from Sylvia’s explanation of her neighborhood, “hated the way winos cluttered up our parks, and pissed on our handball walls and stank up our hallways and stairs” (Bambara Pg-304). The story begins with a group of children standing in front of the mailbox ready to go on an educational trip. Sylvia, an African American girl, and her friends visit an F.A.O Schwartz toy store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with Miss Moore, a college graduate, “woman with nappy hair” who frequently takes kids on educational trips. Sylvia disregards the lessons given by Miss Moore “I’m really …show more content…

She is in that phase of life where she thinks she is always right, “Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young or foolish” (Bambara). Sylvia is somewhat rude, secretive, stubborn, bad-mannered, and barely manageable girl. On the way to the fifth avenue, she behaves in her usual way “hangin out of the window and hollering to everybody” (Bambara Pg-305). Her new knowledge about the social inequality made her upset; however, she felt frustrated and agitated but didn’t show her anger. Sylvia faces a hard time digesting the facts of …show more content…

The children noticed the paperweight when Rosie Giraffe said loud “This here costs four hundred eighty dollars” and they didn’t understand “what’s the paperweight” and the purpose of it. The prices were so high, and confused Sylvia unable to understand the use of paperweight said, “But for $480 it doesn’t make sense.” The paperweight is used to symbolize importance or something precious, and it also has significant meaning to the lives of the children as they don’t own anything that is valuable to them. The price of the paperweight doesn’t make sense to most of the children “don’t even have a

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