I thought that “The Lesson” was powerful because it not only highlighted the known or unknown difference in the lives of the poor versus the rich, but it also showed the importance of a valuable education. Many of the comments the narrator made, especially about being bored by Miss Moore’s lessons, reminded me of our first few readings for the class, and how many youth programs aim to channel the children’s energy into something productive, rather than, as the narrator suggests, going to terrorize and steal from others. Miss Moore was trying to teach the kids to be passionate about their learning by encouraging them to not shy away from their questions or curiosity, hoping that it’ll lead them to think about and act on the vast inequality they face daily without realizing. The conversation at the end between the narrator, Miss Moore, and Sugar show how easy it is for people to become passive or fearful by discrimination, silenced by both the oppressors and by equally-oppressed peers who discourage straying from the “norm” that was created. Sugar spoke with courage when she decided to engage in Miss Moore’s lesson, at the risk of the narrator’s push back, which did finally silence Sugar again. However, it also got the narrator to ponder what she learned that day, and that spark of curiosity shows the importance of a patient educator.

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