The Lesson: a Thematic Analysis

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The Lesson:
A Thematic Analysis

Ravenn Rudel
Mrs Mann
Advanced Comp MWF 1pm
11/30/12

Ravenn Rudel
Mrs. Mann
Advanced Comp MWF 1pm
11/30/12
The Lesson: A Thematic Analysis
Social classes are a dividing system for people of a nation or country, and have existed for as long as history can date back. In the past, it has designated people to certain categories that determined the opportunities and privileges that they could receive. The social class a person belonged to was determined by which one he or she was born into, and this label generally stuck to someone for life. In more recent history, broadened opportunity has opened up an escape for those stuck in the lower classes. The social class a person is born into has become a starting point in life, and where somebody ends up is decided by his or her determination. In Toni Cade Bambara's “The Lesson,” the theme is about learning that a person can break free of the inequality of a social class, which is shown by the use of plot, characters, and symbols.  The plot of “The Lesson” contributes to its theme of freeing one's self from a social class. A group of New York City kids, but particularly the narrator, Sylvia, believe that they are better than the other people in their neighborhood, such as the junk man who does his work like he was a big-time president, or their volunteer teacher, Miss Moore. This feeling of superiority is unintentionally encouraged by the parents when they speak of Miss Moore like she is a dog. Consequently, Sylvia does not understand the importance of a college degree or that she and all the other children are poor. Miss Moore takes the children to F.A.O. Schwarz where they see very expensive toys and even a woman wearing a fur coat during summer; the children develop the general opinion that the “white folks crazy”. One toy in particular that catches their attention while window shopping is a sail boat that costs $1,195. Sugar makes the point that the amount of money to...
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