what is/define nature of the conflict between sylvia and Miss Moore in the story.

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shoshona | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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In "the Lesson," by Toni Cade Bambara, Miss Moore is an educated woman who is very much aware of the unfair distribution of wealth. Note that she is the only character without a first name. She is very formal.  Her language and education seperates her from the community but at the same time earns her some respect. Sylvia, the narrator, reveals through her description of Miss Moore that she does not respect her: "I"m really hating this nappy-head bitch and her goddamn college degree." Sylvia resents Miss Moore not only for her education but because she is a reminder of socio-econmic difference, something that Sylvia would rather ignore.  When Miss Moore takes the children to FOA Swartz a toy store Sylvia and her friends could not imagine or understand who would shop there, this further infuriates Sylvia as Miss Moore presses for the children to learn the "Lesson." Sugar recognizes what Miss Moore wants the children to see.  When Sylvia steps on Sugar's foot to stop her from talking, we realize that Sylvia is well aware of the lesson but unwilling to satisfy Miss Moore with this fact.  She sees Miss Moore as winning and in the last sentence says that "aint nobody gonna beat me at nuthin." She will not allow Miss Moore to be better than her or to point out Sylvia's own socio-economic status.

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