Toni Cade Bambara The Lesson Analysis

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What if a person were to learn that their perception of reality is wrong? Would that person defend their pride? Would they choose to accept the knowledge given? In Toni Cade Bambara's "The Lesson", a poverty-stricken girl is faced with the reality that she lives in a time where racial and economic inequalities exist. This short story tells how a young girl named Sylvia and her friends leave their neighborhood in the projects and take a field trip with an educated African American woman, Miss Moore, to a toy store in the rich part of the city. By showing a young tenacious girl's journey through the process of education and realization, Bambara reveals how people learn new things and choose to defend their pride as they learn that their perception of reality may be wrong.…show more content…
Sylvia is resistant to and has a predetermined negative opinion of Miss Moore. Cartwright points out how the first sentence of the story reveals the irreconcilable differences between Miss Moore and Sylvia: "Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish and me and Sugar were the only ones just right, this lady moves on our block with nappy hair and proper speech an no makeup" (508). Her resistance to Miss Moore is further clarified when she refers to how "school suppose to let up in the summer" but Miss Moore "don't never let up" (Bambara 170). Sylvia goes on to use strong words when she describes how she "hates" Miss Moore and her "college degree" (170). This leaves readers wondering whether Sylvia will be accepting of what Miss Moore has to teach her. (Cartwright
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