The Lesson Essay

557 WordsFeb 16, 20123 Pages
"The Lesson" Contrary to what people believe, maturity is not something that automatically comes to a person as they grow older. Maturity is something that is gradually obtained through rigorous work and responsibilities. As humans, we all travel through the road of maturity, some managing it better than others. It is caused and affected by many different situations such as poverty, location, age, and feelings. In addition, one reaches maturity by removing that egotistical state of mind and truly obtained when one is thoughtful of others and puts aside one-self for the benefit of the rest. Some experiences change a person and their outlook profoundly. The process of growing up can be gradual but when a transformations occurs abruptly and unexpectedly it can be difficult to handle. This development is only achievable through an open mind and humility. When people have an open mind, they are open to new experiences and new ways of looking at things. Thus, people who are open minded are willing to change their views when presented with new facts and evidence. In this case, Sylvia, the main character in Toni Cade Bambara's "The Lesson," learns a lesson about social classes and the implications of wealth and in the process loses some of the innocence that characterizes childhood. Sylvia resists this lesson, therefore the changes that take place in her are subtle, yet they are extensive. Ms. Moore tells the children to go into the store, but she does not lead the way. Here Sylvia becomes uncharacteristically unsure of herself, "But I feel funny, shame, But what I got to be shamed about? Got as much right to go in as anybody. But somehow I can't seem to get hold of the door, so I step away for Sugar to lead."(p. 215) Sylvia seems to be very much the leader until this point and so she is clearly disquieted by the differences she sees between her world and

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