Essay: Tony cade Bambera – The Lesson

Tony cade Bambara was an African American author who was born in New York city. Her work was explicitly political, concerned with injustice and oppression in general and with the fate of African American communities and grassroots political organizations in particular. She especially made focuses on economical, political and ideological inequalities on her writings. Her first literal work was ‘Gorila’. Bambara, besides writing , was very active with nationalism and feminism. She is was one of the first to bring together the black movement and feminism. She is also one of those writers who did a lots of writing about economical injustice. The story ‘The lesson’ is one them. The story has deep theme to become a masterpiece of her writing. At first view the readers of this story can think that it is a story of rich versus poor, but in true sense Bambara focused on social injustice with her interest in telling stories about children maturing. In this story , Bambara focuses on the vast gap between the wealth of New York’s elite and the poverty of their neighbors and also Bambara point out economic disparities exist even within the narrator’s own group of friends.

‘The lesson’ is narrated by a young female named Sylvia. In this story Miss Moore ,just as the story author who worked for New York social service, wants the narrator and the other children to learn about wealth and poverty and the massive inequality that exist in society. When children are at toy store with Miss Moore , at first they noticed a microscope what costs $300. Then they noticed a paperweight which costs $480 , that surprised story narrator. Most of them did not know the use of paperweight. They learned the used of paperweight from Miss Moore. Junebag refused to buy paperweight , considering it as a wasteful thing saying , ‘ I didn’t even have a desk.’ In addition Big Butt said, ‘ No. and I don’t get no homework neither.’ Flyboy said, ‘ I don’t’ even have a home.’ While Mercedes said, she does. She has a box of stationary on the desk and a picture of her cat. These conversation may seems like a normal conversation, but with this conversation the author certainly points out the income variation or income inequalities to most of the American family. Bambara gave an another example of income disparities in this short story with the sailboat that costs more than thousand dollar. Seeing that much price Sylvia said, ‘ That much money, it should last forever.’ On the other hand Mercedes expecting her father will buy it for her if she wants it.

At the story, it gives the implied meaning of injustice, conflict between rich and poor etc. When Big Butt elucidates his yearning for the microscope that the children see at F.A.O Schwaz. Miss Moore seizes the occasion to teach science and launches into a lecture on the visible world around us. Implicitly , the children do not simply need to learn one lesson : they need an education. Furthermore, the rich-poor conflict does not provide the dramatic tension, Miss Moore got motivated to teach the poor children and passed her time with poor kids. At the middle of the story , Miss Moore said to Sylvia that she would calculate five dollars into ten percent and pay the bill to taxi cab. That arithmetic teaching provided by her to Sylvia. Miss Moore got actuated to spend her time with them for the willy reply of sugar , when Miss Moore wanted to know about the costs of sailboat. Sugar said , ‘ You know , Miss Moore, I don’t think all of us here put together eat in a year what that sailboat costs.’

In this story , Miss Moore impacted kids and the writer divulged us three categories of economic condition through children. Mercedes in solvent group, sugar and sylvia at the same group and the others stay at the middle group. In the story, after visiting F.A.O , Miss Moore asked them ‘ what did they learn’? The author pointed out to the economic disparities with this question. The replies from the children clarify that thing. As Mercedes mentioned that she would like to go back there in her next birthday. On the other hand , sugar gives a quite different answers by saying ‘what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of sex or seven.’
In fact, this story is mainly based on social inequalities as well as disparities. Famous authors categorize the kids character into three steps what would suggest that americans income inequalites is a big factor for livings. ‘The Lesson’ is two lessons. First, it is a lesson for the arrogant and ignorant Sylvia, who has the wool taken from her eyes and learns that she is not at the top of the pecking order after all. Second, the story is a lesson for the reader; a window into an uncomfortable reality

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