Coming of Age and Childhood

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Childhood is a part of life that teaches kids about the real world. Children will learn lessons that will shape their future. Children are supposed to be happiest at this state of their lives. In the story The Lesson the kids thought Miss Moore was a nappy-head bitch (64), but later on learned valuable life lesson from her. Childhood is not always sunshine and roses.

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In the story The Lesson the character of Sylvia states Which is now she got saddled with me and Sugar and Junior in the first place while our mothers were in a la-de-da apartment up the block having a good ole time(64). This statement is proof that their parents are not good at raising their kids. Their parent are out their partying and not taking care of the kids. It sounds like the parents got sick of their responsibilities and dropped their kids off to Aunt Gretchen. This type of childhood teaches the kids that they have to raise themselves, and nobody really cares for them. The kids does not realize that Miss Moore cares for them and wants better for them.

Next, the kids were bummed that Miss Moore she was planning these boring ass things for us to do. Miss Moore was taking the kids to a very expensive toy store on Fifth Avenue F.A.O (65) to teach them things are not fair for black people. In this scene the kids observe one lady in a fur coat, hot as it is White folks (65). People born with money don’t need to prove it, unlike people who walk around with fur coats in the summer, the rich person probably wears something thin that might costs a lot of money, but people would not know because their priority is different (Rust).

Rosie points out a four hundred eight dollar paper weight. Miss Moore states that the paper weight is that much because that’s a paperweight made of semi-precious stones fused together under tremendous pressure(66). The kids still do not understand the point. Miss Moore then explains the importance of the paperweight It’s to weigh paper down so it won’t scatter and make your desk untidy(66). Miss Moore assumes the children have a desk at home Don’t you have a calendar and a pencil case and a blotter and a letter-opener on your desk at home where you do you homework (66). These kids are not rich they do not have desk at home or four hundred and eight dollars to pay for a paperweight. Sylvia thinks Miss Moore is being sarcastic She know damn well what our homes looks like(66). Miss Moore has been to these children’s neighborhoods and looked in their houses, she knows that they can not afford a hundreds of dollars desk. These children live in the hood for a reason. They can not afford a luxury lifestyle like their friend Mercedes.

Mercedes begins to brag about her fancy desk I have a box of stationery on my desk and a picture of my cat. My Godmother bought the stationery and the desk. There’s a bog rose on each sheet and the envelopes smell like roses(66). Mercedes obviously has more money than all of her friends. Since they come from different backgrounds of course they grew up different, she probably does not think she is bragging and might really be excited to share to her friends. But Mercedes has to realize she can not talk about her expensive things to her friends because it will be considered bragging and her friends probably won’t want her around anymore. Then Rosie Giraffe reacts to Mercedes bragging by stating Who wants to know about your smelly-ass stationery (66). I agree with Rosie’s statement because she does sound like she’s bragging.

Later on in the store Miss Moore starts preaching she’s boring us silly about how what things cost and what our parents make and how much goes for rent and how money ain’t divided up right in this country (67). Miss Moore took them to that expensive store to show them that everyone in the world does not have an equal chance of getting money. Mercedes is rich her dad could buy her anything, most likely lives in a nice house, and both of her parents are in her life. Mercedes will have an equal chance of getting opportunities in this world because her people are rich. When you are rich money buys opportunity. Sylvia, Rosie Giraffe, Big Butt, and Flyboy are broke. Sylvia, Rosie Giraffe, and big live with their Aunt Gretchen their parents are not really their for them. They will struggle trying to get opportunities on this world because of they will have to try a lot harder than everyone else.

I do not believe these children actually like Mercedes. They always give her smart remarks. For example as their talking about this Handcrafted sailboat of fiber glass that cost one hundred ninety-five dollars. Then Mercedes goes to say My father’d buy it for me if I wanted it(67). And Rosie says Your father, my ass(67). The kids almost seem annoyed to be around her. I do understand how someone who constantly talks about the tings they have and can get is annoying to be around. If Mercedes would stop bragging maybe they would start being nice to her.

Finally, In the last scene Sugar realizes a very important lesson Imagine for a minute what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven(69). This is completely true rich people could do more for the poor.

The lesson from this story is that there is not equal opportunity in this world for the unfortunate people. This story shows us a realistic childhood for most people. Not everyone is born into rich families.

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Coming of Age and Childhood. (2019, Jul 30). Retrieved November 27, 2022 , from
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