The Lesson Essay Research Paper The LessonThe

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The Lesson Essay, Research Paper The Lesson The Lesson, by Toni Cade Bambara, portrays a group of children living in the slums of New York City around 1972. They seem to be content living in poverty in some very unsanitary conditions. One character, Miss Moore, the children?s self appointed mentor, takes it upon herself to further their education during the summer months. She feels this is her civic duty because she is educated. She used F.A.O. Schwarz, a very expensive toystore, to teach them a lesson and inspire them to strive for success and attempt to better themselves and their situations. At the beginning of the story, the author gives us the feeling that a child is narrating this story. She also shows that the child, Sylvia, is at that age where she feels that adults

are silly and she knows everything. ?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 moved on our block with nappy hair and proper speech and no makeup.? (Bambara 470) Sylvia also tells us about her environment while referencing Miss Moore. ?And we kidna hated her too, hated the way we did the winos who cluttered up our parks and pissed on our handball walls and stank up our hallways and stairs so you couldn?t halfway play hide-and-seek without a damn gas mask. Miss Moore was her name. The only woman on the block without a first name.? (Bambara 470) This is our introduction to Miss Patterson 2 Moore. She is an educated, well groomed person and the children resent her because she is different and

their parents force them to spend time with her in the interest of education. On the day the story takes place, Miss Moore has rounded up the neighborhood kids and is going to bring them to F.A.O. Schwarz. Sylvia has a poor attitude toward the excursion because she feels that her day could have been better spent. ?So this one day Miss Moore rounds us all up at the mailbox and its purdee hot and she?s knocking herself up about arithmetic. And school suppose to let up in summer I heard, but she don?t never let up.? (Bambara 470) Miss Moore hailed the group two cabs, and they were off. When they arrive at their destination, the author gives up another clue toward the extent of the childen?s poverty. ?Then we check out that we on fifth avenue and everybody dressed up in stockings.

One lady in a fur coat hot as it is. White folks crazy.? (Bambara 471) At the store, it is not long before the children begin seeing things that interest them. The first of these is a microscope that costs $300. Miss Moore comments on the educational value of microscopes but the children poke fun at the idea. ??Hey, I?m going to buy that there.? ?That there? You don?t even know what it is, stupid.? ?I do so,? he say punchin Rosie Giraffe. ?It?s a microscope.? ?Whatcha gonna do with a microscope, fool?? ?Look at things.? (Bambara 471) Patterson 3 The next interesting item that the kids find is a very expensive paperweight. While discussing it, Miss Moore is sure to convey that while the object is very expensive, it?s purpose is very trivial. ??This here costs $480 dollars,? say

Rosie Giraffe. So we pile up all over her to see what she pointing out. My eyes tell me it?s a chunk of glass cracked with something heavy, and different-color inks dripped into the splits, then the whole thing put into an oven or something. But for $480 dollars it don?t make sense. ?That?s a paperweight made of semi-precious stones fused together under ttemendous pressure,? she explains slowly, with her hands doing all the mining and the factory work. ?So what?s a paperweight?? asks Rosie Giraffe. ?To weigh paper down with, dumbbell,? says Flyboy, the wise man from the East. ?Not exactly,? says Miss Moore, which is what she say when you warm or way off, too. ?It?s to weigh paper down so it won?t scatter and make your desk untidy.??(Bambara 472) The last item the author comments