Symbolism in "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara Analytical Essay

Symbolism in "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara
An analysis of the short story, "The Lesson", by Toni Cade Bambara.
# 153703 | 1,024 words | 1 source | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Oct 15, 2013 in Literature (American)

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The paper reviews the short story, "The Lesson", by Toni Cade Bambara, and discusses how the character, in the story, of Mrs. Moore tries to teach the children what the outside world is like and how each of them has a right like anyone else to be rich and lead an easier life. The paper also looks at the characters of Sylvia and Sugar and highlights the use of symbolism in developing the themes and plot of the story.


From the Paper:

"The use of symbolism is very profound in this story. The writer uses a lot of symbols to depict the social differences among various characters just by examining how they live. As illustrated, the children can be understood to have landed the bad hand of fate. Their lives seem miserable and have no real hope for the future. Mrs. Moore, on the other hand, is a well-educated lady; she represents the kind of class very different from what the community expects to see. She has the choice to sit back and watch the community anguish in poverty or step in and assist the situation in every way she can. By simple examining the name Moore, a great deal of symbolism can be found. Only a few things define her, we are not told whether she is married or not, and if she even have children of her own. Her name could be taken to mean that she wanted more for the children in this community.
"Her aim, however, is to make the children understand what the outside world is like and how each of them had a right to have a piece of the world. Moreover, she talks to them about their right to be rich just like any other person in this particular community.The inequality depicted in the story upsets Sylvia, the narrator. She understands the kind of life they do not have in the community and is annoyed that Mrs. Moore was going to expose their weaknesses."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bambara, Toni C. Gorilla, My Love. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1972.

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Symbolism in "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara (2013, October 15) Retrieved April 05, 2020, from

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"Symbolism in "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara" 15 October 2013. Web. 05 April. 2020. <>