The Lesson By Toni Cade Bambara

2703 Words11 Pages
Caroline Bergsagel
Professor Reichardt
English 1101/1102-681
14th April, 2015
In the story “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, the author uses symbolism, irony, setting, and black vernacular diction to show the children -the “other side of the street”- and the economic disparity and inequality they face. When a well educated teacher takes the the children on an allegedly fun and frivolous field trip to a toy store, it is there she shows the children the disparity they face in their neighborhood. By taking these children on the field trip, she is hoping to demonstrate to them that the world is not fair. She hopes they can derive the conclusion that in a democratic society everyone should have equal economic opportunities. “Bambara’s short story collection Gorilla My Love (which includes “The Lesson”) marked Bambara’s debut as a spokesperson for black cultural nationalism. While Bambara’s short stories address multifarious issues relevant to the civil rights struggles during the 60’s and 70’s “The Lesson” specifically adresses unique distribution of wealth.” (Champion 69) “Distribution of wealth is such an important concept that Miss Moore often tells the children “where we are is who we are” (Bambara 390) relating economic status to identity” (Champion)
In today’s world, it would be hard to imagine a community without education because education has become so much more accessible, we tend to take it for granted. One of the only educated women in Sylvia’s and Sugar’s

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