The end of “The Lesson” by Tomi Bambara is very open ended. Sugar and the main character race to “Hascombs”, and Sugar “get’s ahead”. Which, the main character responds with “O.K. by me”, “ain’t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin”. In my opinion, this shows that the main character has understood the lesson Mrs. Moore was trying to teach the children. The lesson Miss Moore taught, is that American society isn’t as fair as it’s portrayed. Some people start well off, and others don’t but make it work. That lesson is very similar to the end, a race to something, and someone started better off. Except, the main character takes it a step further, and says no matter what nothing can stop him, implying he will become wealthy.
3 thoughts on “Learnt Lesson”
I was a bit confused by the ending, but it makes so much sense now. That is such a true fact: many people work just as hard as others but do not have the resources to succeed.
I agree that in society there are people that are born wealthy and with a lot of privilege whereas other people have to work hard everyday to get to the same level but eventually they can be successful too.
I like this interpretation- the narrator seems to be a willful individual and this determined attitude towards herself and her future would align with other aspects of her character. However, she seems to be scornful of Miss Moore’s lesson as she tells it; I wonder where the shift between scornful and receptive occurs in the text.