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What lessons has Sylvia learned?

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By the end of the story, Sylvia says, "ain't nobody gonna beat me at nuthin." She seems to have internalized the fact that she is going to meet with opposition in society as a result of her race (and, perhaps, even her sex). There are people who can afford to spend a thousand dollars on a toy sailboat, and there are people who cannot. There are people who have a better chance at being able to afford such a thing someday, and there are people who do not. As a young black girl who seems not to be receiving an adequate education from her school, likely due to a lack of sufficient funding for public schools with a primarily black population, Sylvia will likely meet with a great deal of opposition in her life.

When Sugar, Sylvia's friend, comes to a realization that America is "not much of a democracy" and that individuals of different races do not have an "equal crack at the dough," Sylvia can feel something "weird" going on "in [her] chest." Miss Moore looks directly at Sylvia and...

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