Show MoreSometimes growing up we experience situations that can change our perspective on life. Especially, when these situations happen unexpectedly; we are in disbelief. In Toni Cade Bambara short story “The Lesson” written in first person; it delves into the struggle of a girl, Sylvia, who realizes the economic and social injustice surrounding her. However, with the help of Miss Moore Sylvia comes to grip with this issue, and opts to overcome it. In “The Lesson” Miss Moore wanted to impart on Sylvia and the other children is the value of a dollar, the importance of education, and to fathom the social and economic injustice that bounded them.
To begin with, Miss Moore, Sylvia, and the other children are from the “slums”. However, what…show more content…
Furthermore, Miss Moore hails two cabs and gives each of the children five dollars for transportation. Shortly after, getting in the cab; Miss Moore and the children arrive to Fifth Avenue at the F.A.O. Schwarz, toy store. The atmosphere had instantly changed and Sylvia and the other children noticed. To illustrate, “Then we check out that we on Fifth Avenue and everybody dressed in stockings. One lady in a fur coat, hot as it is, White folks crazy.” Before, actually going in Miss Moore advises that they look through the toy store window first. While looking through the window the children examines each toy. First a three hundred dollar microscope, then a four hundred and eighty dollar paperweight, and lastly this hand crafted sailboat that cost one hundred and ninety five dollars. Each item brought about an educational, yet debatable conversation. However, the sailboat is what peaked the climax of story ,and really stunned the children; especially, Sylvia. Sylvia is at raged with the price of this sailboat, and her mind begins to fill with questions. To illustrate, “Who’s pay all that when you can buy a sailboat set for a quarter at Pop’s, a tube of glue for a dime, and a ball of string for eight cents? “ It must have a motor and a whole lot else besides, “I say. “My sailboat cost me about fifty cents.” Another, question Sylvia had about sailboats is how much a real one would cost, but the thought of asking Miss
Show MoreSymbolism in Toni Cade Bambara's The Lesson
Symbols are often use in stories to portray more of a literal meaning. Conventional, literary, and allegory are examples of the different types of symbolism. Symbols can be displayed in many different ways. People, objects, and events are just a few of the ways. Throughout the short story, "The Lesson," Toni Cade Bambara uses symbolism in many areas.
The title, "The Lesson," is one symbol that Bambara uses. Miss. Moore, the teacher with a college degree, takes the kids on a trip to F.A.O. Schwarz. Throughout their trip, Miss. Moore is constantly talking to them about money. Bambara writes, "And Miss Moore asking us do we know what money is, like we bunch of retards" (Bambara 136).…show more content…
"And the starch in my pinafore scratching the shit outta me and I'm really hating this nappy-headed bitch and her goddamn college degree" (Bambara 136). This sentence gives the image that this is a poor, low class neighborhood. The reader is able to identify that this is not a high-class place, but one possibly in the slums. The language is symbolic because it represents the area of the city that the story is taking place. It also lets the reader know what kinds of characters are being presented.
Bambara also uses the character names in "The Lesson" to symbolize what kind of character they will be. One character that she names is Fat Butt. From the name, the reader knows right away that this will be a fat kid who probably eats a lot. Bambara supports this by writing, "Fat Butt was already wasting his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich like the pig he is" (Bambara 136).
Another name that is symbolic is Mercedes. When someone thinks of a Mercedes, they think of someone being wealthy. Mercedes says, "I do. I have a box of stationary on my desk and a picture of my cat, My godmother bought the stationary and desk. There's a big rose on each sheet and the envelopes smell like roses." All of the kids had replied that had no desk, but Mercedes did. She had a godmother who had bought it for her. By Mercedes saying this, the reader knows that she is from a family who has more money. Also Mercedes takes charge when heading into the toy story. This is a symbol