What transformation do characters in "The Lesson" undergo?

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In “The Lesson,” Sylvia and her friends have an eye-opening experience when Miss Moore takes them to the FAO Schwartz toy store, and the young people are, at least to a point, transformed by it.

The kids realize at once that they are far out of their normal world when they look through the toy store window. They can hardly grasp the prices of the amazing toys within. They marvel at the toy boat that costs over a thousand dollars (when they make toy boats for only pennies). They cannot figure out why a piece of glass could be so expensive, nor can most of them fathom why anyone would need a paperweight.

The children feel out of place in the store, and Sylvia is very uncomfortable in a way she has never been before. Sylvia also becomes angry at the store and the prices and the thought that some people can buy toys for so much money while others barely have enough for food and rent, if that. She is beginning to think as Miss Moore hopes she will.

When Miss Moore asks for the children’s observations, Sugar talks about the inequality that she has now noticed. Sylvia is mad at Sugar for responding to Miss Moore, but she thinks the same way. This is, of course, Miss Moore’s purpose for bringing the children to the toy store. She wants to awaken and transform their minds and their ideas, and that is what happens.

In fact, at the end of the story, Sylvia makes a vow that no one will beat her at anything. This is naive, of course, but it expresses the new realizations that Sylvia has discovered about the way the world is.

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