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Contrast between The lesson

And In the american society

The two stories I decided to use for my essay are: The lesson by Toni Cade Bambara and In the american society by Gish Jen. I have chosen these two stories for their view of life in America. Both Ms. Bambara and Ms. Jen talk about how American society is not equal; the rich are rich and the poor Are very poor, and if you do work hard and make money you still wont fit in. Ms. Bambara uses a group of children from Harlem New York in the 70s, who are taken on a field trip to FAO Schwartz by Ms Moore who takes it upon herself to teach these ghetto kids the truth about life in America. When they enter the store Ms Moore shows the kids different objects and their prices and Asking the kids to figure out how long it would take them to save for these objects. The first person Narrator, a young wisecracking girl, does not understand to point of this exercise. All she wants to do Is going spend he money on chips and ice cream and go look for boys with her friend sugar (109). they look at a toy sailboat which cost one thousand one hundred ninety-five dollars, they could not believe Somebody would spend that much on something that will brake quickly. It makes the narrator angry that Some people are able to afford a toy like that, when her family can barely take care of her. We see this When she notices a toy clown that does somersaults and pull-ups which cost thirty-five dollars. She tells us that thirty five dollars would pay the rent, and the piano bill, by her cousins bunk beds and Pay for a trip to the country to visits her grand father (112). At the end when the leave the store the narrator s friend, Sugar, is the only one to get the point of the trip when she says: 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. This upsets the narrator who storms off, needing to think about what she has learned. Now Gish Jen s story I the American society tell the story of an Asian family who having bought A restaurant and making a good living try to fit in to their new environment. The mother wanting to join The country club but afraid to let her husband now, is secretly sponsor but a friend to become a member. But she does not get so the sponsor invites them to a party where the father is humiliated. I enjoyed both stories a lot and how both shows the American Dream is not a dream for everybody. Some of us don t get it at all while the ones that do get are usually not too happy because people usually Put Them down for being different and not one of them.


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