Launch: Lessons

Both the story by Toni Cade Bambara and the speech by Barbie are about poverty and the lessons that can be learned while living in it.  In the story, Miss Moore seems to be trying to teach the children two separate lessons about poverty and the conditions that the they live in.  The first, most obvious lesson is that resources are not divided up equally.  Some people have a lot of money, while some people have very little. Although it is not at all fair or just, Miss Moore explains to the children that unfortunately, that’s the way the world is for the time being.  The other lesson that Miss Moore seems to be teaching the children is that in order to escape poverty, they will really have to work at it.  It is clear that the children will have to work so much harder to get their college degrees and earn a decent living than children who have simply been born into wealthy or well-off families (the children who’s parents can afford to buy them thousand-dollar toy boats).  On the other hand, the lesson that Barbie explains that she learned through living in poverty is that one should never be afraid to admit that they are struggling.  Those living in poverty carry such a heavy burden with the secrets that they feel that they are forced to keep.  For most of her life, Barbie felt the need to keep the fact that she was struggling a secret (for self-preservation and the preservation of her family).  However, when Barbie finally was able to admit to someone that she was struggling, she felt a huge burden being lifted.  Instead of being scolded, she found her voice.

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1 Response to Launch: Lessons

  1. sproles43 says:

    I agree with the summary of the two sources and the overall lessons stated from each independent source. However, I would like to extend the argument further by stating that these two sources are intrinsically related. Both sources reveal the struggles of poverty and the very uneven distribution of wealth. Additionally, the lessons from both sources are related in that both can be used to stimulate change. Indeed, by looking at these two sources side-by-side, one can see that by having a will to improve living conditions and having the ability to speak about struggles and injustices, one can cause a change. The first part of this argument is seen at the end of Bambara’s story, where the main character is determined to succeed in life (“nobody gonna beat me at ‘nuthin”). The second part of the argument is illustred by Barbie’s lecture, where she becomes a happier person because of her ability to speak about her former struggles in poverty. Thus, both lessons can be tied together in causing some sort of social change that lessens the burden of poverty.

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