In “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

In “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, the boat symbolizes the journey that the children have ahead of them to gain an education in order to have a nice life and that money is not equally distributed to different races in the United States. One of the only ways for African Americans to be successful is for them to earn an education, like Miss Moor did. Miss Moor tries to teach this to the children by bringing them to F.A.O. Schwarz. Which is why she always asks questions and see if the children are learning anything new. Because of racism, African Americans do not get a fair chance to earn money. For example, white people can afford the one thousand one hundred ninety-five-dollar sailboat whereas most African Americans, like Sylvia, can only afford sailboats that are fifty cents. Sylvia and the children do not know that money is divided unfairly throughout the country until the end of the story when Sugar finally states, “…this is not much of a democracy if you ask me. Equal chance to pursue happiness means an equal crack at the dough, don’t it?” (280). By saying this, Sugar realizes that because of her placement on the social ladder, she will have to work twice as hard than a white kid in order to be successful.

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