Broadening the horizons of underprivileged children.Thank you Miss Moore.
It takes a caring individual to live amongst the poor and teach their young.
In the story “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, one character stands
out and becomes the teacher of life’s lessons.Miss Moore is a strong,
educated, African American woman who for her own reasons lives within the
slums and becomes, to an extent, a surrogate mother to children whose parents
seem not to care for.It is evident, within the story, that she takes the
initiative to try to broaden the horizons of five young children by
introducing them to new experiences.
As with any society or group there are conflicts between members and the
same holds true for the five children and Miss Moore.Sylvia, the main
character, sees Miss Moore not as a teacher or mentor but as an unwelcome
chaperone on their trip to FAO Schawarz.She would rather be doing anything
else then taking a trip with Miss. Moore to the toy store. According to the
author, the other children feel the same contempt, however, each of
the children perceive Miss Moore differently.This is evident throughout the
story by the inquisitiveness of Sugar.In taking Sylvia and her friends to the toy store, Miss Moore is trying to introduce the children to a new side of life that maybe they weren’t aware of before. She is trying to show them that there are beautiful things outside of the slums and the ghetto where they occupy their time. In the store, the children are exposed to things that, if the opportunity presented itself, they would probably like to
have.Before even getting to the toy store Miss Moore, in one sentence,
gives a lesson on economics and the diversity of wealth. On page 89 Sylvia
says “…and she’s boring us silly about what things cost and what our parents
make and how much goes for rent and how money ain’t divided up right in this
count…