The Lesson: Creating Awareness in Young Kids towards Society

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Pavel Ter-Bagdasarian
English 1B

The Lesson


The narrator, a poor young black girl named Sylvia, starts by describing Miss Moore, a lady who had just moved on the block. She expresses dislike in her for certain reasons and explains why they were all annoyed by her. She also introduces us the rest of her company and how they were all related. She goes on to tell how Miss Moore decided to take them to a store one day despite her and her friends having other plans for that day. Upon arriving at the FAO Schwartz toy store, they began looking at many items and their’ price tags. To their surprise they see how expensive simple toys are and can’t figure out what type of people can afford these toys and what those people do to earn so much money. Bored and puzzled, they ask Miss Moore why she had brought them to this store. Miss Moore asks them to imagine the type of society they are living in and asks them to reflect in their day and give it thought. As the kids run off to enjoy the rest of their day, the girl who had the most dislike in Miss Moore, Sylvia, decides to go along with her plan and think the day through.

The major theme that revolves around this short story was creating awareness in the young kids to better understand the ways of society and the reality of economic inequality. Towards the end of the story, as they are getting ready to leave the store, outraged by the expensive prices of all the toys, Miss Moore says to the kids, “Imagine for a minute what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven. What do you think?” She uses this method to stimulate their thoughts and help the kids to have a better point of view of life. After Miss Moore tries to get her point across, the kids ask her questions, but Sylvia acts as if she is not touched by this experience and feels annoyed and angry that her cousin participates in the discussion. She...
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