The Achievement of Desire

939 Words4 Pages
There are several ways an individual can become educated. People have to learn about life in a way that school can not teach. In Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson” and Richard Rodriguez’s “The Achievement of Desire” both authors show how the protagonists received education on societies perceptions of individuals based on appearance and cultural background, but developed different motivations regarding ambitions for wealth and success. Becoming educated is about possessing a balance between academia and lessons you learn throughout life overtime. “The Lesson” is an essay that looks at wealth through the eyes of a poor black girl whose education includes a trip to one of the world’s premiere toy store. The text discusses serious social issues and the uneducated views of life the narrator and her friends live. The teacher who takes them on the trip is trying to show the students that they can have a different life than the one they are so used too. The lesson is suppose to teach the students in order to get ahead in life they have become educated. “We start down the block and she gets ahead which is O.K. by me cause I’m goin to the west end and then over to the drive to think this day through. She can run if she want to and even run faster. But aint nobody gonna beat me at nuthin” (Bambara 271). Sylvia the narrator was the only student that understood the lesson their teachers was trying to teach them. “The achievement of Desire” by Richard Rodriguez is an essay that discusses times in his child and adult life, while growing up between his Mexican and American cultures. Rodriguez hid from his culture by becoming educated beyond society’s expectations. Rodriguez indulged himself in school work because he had a dyer need of acceptance from the dominant culture. Rodriguez became educated academically but failed to learn the real important lessons of life like the
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