“Where ignorance is bliss, ins folly to be wise” comes from one of Thomas Grays works. What Gray means by this Is that sometimes It Is better to not know some things about life, and this time Is when you are still young. You are not ridiculed for being innocent because everyone knows that you do not have as much experience as adults do. Thomas Gray misses this aspect of being a kid, but also knows that it is important to learn new things and to understand that the world is not perfect.
In Toni Cede Bamboo’s short story “The Lesson,” a group of poor African American girls re unaware of how other people live until they meet an African American woman named Miss Moore and she teaches them an Important lesson. The girls find MISS Moore to be Incredibly strange and different due to the fact that she Is an African American, yet she has a “goddamn college degree” (96) and “always looked like she was going to church” (96). Miss Moore is not like most African American women during their time in their neighborhood. She always looks presentable, speaks good English, and is well educated.
She was the only person in their neighborhood to have n education, and for an African American woman to go to college In their time period was new. Because they live In poverty and they do not have parents who have college degrees, or even went to college, this makes Miss Moore the perfect person to look up to and aspire to be. In order to teach the group of girls a lesson, she takes them to the city, which is filled with several white people dressed in expensive clothing and even “one lady in a fur coat, hot as it is” (97).
It is obvious that this is probably one of the first times that these girls have seen white people. Their first impression to them is that they are crazy. Before going into the store Sugar, Sylvia cousin, asks If they could steal. And she was being serious. Once Inside of the toy store, all of the girls are in shock at how expensive everything is. Sylvia, the narrator of the story, claims that a paperweight is overpriced, “But for $480 it don’t make sense” (98). Then they find a sailboat that costs $1,195 and Sylvia is puzzled and thinks, “that much money should last forever” (99).
The girls go on about how that mind of money could feed them and their families for a long time. They do not understand why somebody would buy something that you will barely use for that much money when you can buy a bunch of other Items that are necessary and are used daily, such as food and clothes. The children begin to understand that the people who buy these kinds of things have lots of money and in order to have that much money, you need a Job. They know that the kind of that gets you that money is one that requires a college degree, and you have to go to college to get that.
They probably did not know that they could get one before they met Miss Moore because they were raised In poverty and did not know anybody that had a college degree. This was one of the lessons that that Miss Moore wanted the girls to learn and understand. You need to be confident and do something that will help you get far in life even if nobody else around you is doing it. Another lesson that Miss Moore teaches the girls is that you should always aim to do your best and even more, but still be happy with what you have and not be embarrassed by It.
We see that Sylvia realizes that although they are not the richest people, they still “got fur dollars anyway;ay’ (101). Which means that even though they do not have much, they still have something and Just because it is little does not mean it does not have value. Sylvia suggests that they use that money to go to the Hassocks and buy a lot of food that they can share. Sylvia and Sugar race down to the Hassocks and when Sugar gets ahead of her, Sylvia says, “she can run if she want to and even run faster.
But anti nobody goanna beat me at nothing” (101). Even though Sylvia doesn’t say it out loud to anybody because of her big ego, we know that Miss Moore was successful in teaching her a lesson. After seeing all of the overpriced toys, she realizes that nobody Just has that kind of money; instead they had to work hard for it. She is happy with whatever she has, whatever it is, but she will still strive to be better and even “race” to be the best in order to be a success and nobody will beat her.
This short story relates to Grays quote because the girls did not know what exactly as going on in the world outside of their neighborhood because they were innocent and still young and did not have any experiences in the city. After Miss Moore took them to the city, they had the experience to see how they relate to the outside world, and they learn that they are opposites. They understand now because of Miss Moore that you should be happy with what you have, but you still should always be persistent in getting better and achieving what you do not have and to not be upset over it.