“TheLesson” by Toni Cade Bambara 1. Throughout the story, Sylvia dislikes MissMoore because she believes Miss Moore acts like smart aleck. Miss Moorementions how “She’d been to college and said should take responsibility for theyoung ones’ education” (Bambara 146).
As the story continues the characterSylvia is trying to resist her educational efforts. Miss Moore is trying toteach her reasonability and how to manage her money wisely. Miss Moore thenasks, ” do you known what money is” (Bambara 147). Sylvia then says, ” doesshe think we are a bunch of retards” (Bambara 147).
This portrays thatSylvia does not have interest in Miss Moore life lessons.2. In the article, “The Lesson” Thomas Cassidybelieves the story is about a child’s realization of economic inequity insociety. Which I believe Cassidy is right because at the beginning the kidswant, “the sailboat” (Bambara 149). However, later in the story Sugar realizesthat it is no important and says, “I don’t think all of us here put togethereat in a year what that sailboat costs” (Bambara 151)3. Moore wants the kids to understand abouteconomic inequity and how they can invest in something better for themselves.
She wants them to, “wake up and demand their share of the pie” (Bambara 150).For instance, when Miss Moore asks the children what they have learned Sugarthen responds, “You know, Miss Moore, I don’t think all of us here put togetherto eat in a year what that sailboat costs” (Bambara 151). Sugar then respondsagain saying “this is not much of a democracy if you ask me. Equal chance topursue happiness means an equal crack at the dough, don’t it?” (Bambara 151).4.
When Sylvia tries to go into the FAO Schwarzshe feels, “shy” (Bambara 150). The reason why Sylvia feels shame is becauseshe remembers when, “Sugar and crashed into the Catholic church on adare. Butonce we got in there and everything so hushed and holy and the candles and thebowin and the handkerchiefs on all the drooping heads, I just couldn’t gothrough with the plan” (Bambara 150). Sylvia then mentions how she, “went upto the altar and did a tap dance while Sugar played the nose flute and messedaround in the holy water” (Bambara 150). This experience reminds Sylvia whenshe went inside the store, the atmosphere was holy that they could not gothrough with it.”Volar” By Judith OrtizCofer1.
The narrator dreams of being Supergirl becauseshe is self-conscious of her image and dreams that, “Her hair would fillmagically go straight and turn a golden color” (Cofer 317). This seems to bethe little girl’s picture of a perfect girl, who she longs to be. This helpsthe reader to understand why the little girl chose Supergirl because of whatshe thinks are imperfections to herself such as, “my tight curls still clingingto my head, skinny arms and legs . . .
unchanged” (Cofer 317). The narratorthen mentions dreaming of, “bonus of breast, but not to larger” so she can fitinto what she believes is the ideal in society (Cofer 317).2. The narrator sees the landlord selfishbecause, “she knew her parents feared him” and sees him, ” sitting onthe floor counting his dollar bills” (Cofer 317). The narrator then plays atrick by, “blowing a little puff of my super-breath into his fireplace,scattering his stacks of money so that he had to start counting all over again”(Cofer 317).3.
The narrator’s setting is a little girl who isfrom Puerto Rico and she lives in the United States. The little girl is tryingto adjust to the culture, traditions, and the ideal society of the country. Forinstance, she dreams of being Supergirl with her hair, “magically goingstraight and turning a golden color” (Coffer 317). She then wakes up andfinds herself, “back in my body: my tiny… chest unchanged” (Cofer 317). Shealso knows that she is not rich because when the narrator describes her roomshe describes it as, “I’d wake up in my tiny bedroom with the incongruous—atleast in our tiny apartment—white “princess” furniture” (Coffer 317). Thenarrator understands that looking back at her situation it was not a princessroom.
She realizes that her parents discuss important issues in the kitchen andmentions that is her parents, “time together at the beginning of each day” andif she wakes up too early she can feel “their disappointment if sheinterrupted them by getting up too early” (Coffer 317). The narrator thenmentions that her mother and father are having a discussion regarding going ona vacation. The little girl’s mother says to her husband, “How about a vacationin Puerto Rico together this year … take the time off” but the father responseis, “Mi Amor, do you known how … me to take the time off” (Coffer 317). Notonly does this little girl know that her parents are having financial strugglestrying to go and visit Puerto Rico but have other financial problems.
Thenarrator also knows that her parents are having financial problems because ofher, “parents feared” the landlord (Coffer 317). Throughout all these situationsthe little girl encounters new traditions, culture, and fitting in what shebelieves is the ideal in society.