“The Lesson” By Toni Cade Bambara Homework Essay Sample

The injustice of life is widely spread across the world and throughout time. Poverty and disparity are the critical elements of societal distress, and numerous national and ideological attempts have been made in order to eliminate societal and financial inequalities. However, most of these attempts have failed to exempt people from the unfair nature of existence. Among them were communism and socialism, which possess a noble and ambitious goal to bring socioeconomic equality among citizens. Nevertheless, capitalism has shown itself as being the most effective system that brings prosperity and growth at the cost of a high level of inequality. “The Lesson” written by Toni Cade Bambara is a story of societal and economic unfairness seen through the eyes of Sylvia – a girl who lives in a poor neighborhood and evidently lacks proper education. Miss Moore is a character that brings an important message to all children, which states that prosperity is attainable and accessible to everyone if the required steps are taken.


The given story begins with a description of Sylvia’s worldview and her level of understanding the intentions of Miss Moore. These two significant characters symbolize the educator and the uneducated, where the latter resists the help due to the lack of knowledge. Sylvia positions herself as a rebellious and eccentric teenager with the miscomprehending attitude toward Miss Moore. The teacher is open-heartedly and vigorously trying to send the message of hope for prosperous future (Bambara 1-2).

The interaction and relationship between Moore and Sylvia are interesting ones, mainly due to the fact that they represent the same people who were brought up under profoundly different circumstances and environment. Moreover, Moore’s behavioral pattern does not fluently resonate with the teenager’s approach towards life. Sylvia’s perspective and her worldview are clearly shown in the story as of a typical poor neighborhood girl who handles everything with caution and aggressive nature. On the other hand, Miss Moore illustrates the possibility and result of an education that led to her wisdom and knowledge. Although Sylvia assumes that Miss Moore behaves in a highly unusual and unconventional way that does not fit her philosophy of life, Sylvia’s rebellious approach vanishes after Miss Moore arranges the visit to a toy shop outside her town (Bambara 1-4). The story and its two main characters represent the core issues of racism and minority problems, which are deeply rooted in the African-American history of oppression and poverty (Seider et al. 509-524). Miss Moore poses as a catalyzer of improvement and change, whereas Sylvia is a shy and cautious poor community, which is highly reluctant to future advancements (Bambara 3).

Noting the characteristic feature of the writing is unavoidable due to the fact that it demonstrates the significance and meaning of the story, which is inequality and unjust nature of reality. Although numerous symbolic elements are present throughout the story, where Sylvia and other kids realize the immense difference between them and the wealthy. This gap is represented through prices of toys and how those values are outrageously way above Sylvia’s purchasing power (Bambara 4). The toy shop was an eye-opening experience that made kids realize to question their way of life and understand that there is more to be attained and there are higher goals out there. Sylvia states: “Who are these people that spend that much for performing clowns and $1,000 for toy sailboats? What kinda work they do and how they live and how come we ain’t in on it?” (Bambara 5). The shop and toy prices carry symbolic purpose of wealth and poverty that are applied not only to the African-American community but also any minority and disadvantaged people.

Both characters and symbols of the story are essential elements, which assist in an understanding of the concept of inequality. The United States has always been a leading nation in terms of striving for prosperity and freedom. However, it is also known as a country with the highest wealth gap across the globe. African-American communities are the ones, which are disadvantaged the most in terms of the income inequality (Meyer and Sullivan 10). The story is trying to address the given problem and proposes a possible solution, which is to educate and show youngster the way towards a better life of prosperity and wealth. Both Sylvia and Miss Moore come from the same environment, nevertheless, Moore has gained necessary knowledge and insight that can help the uneducated youth. Her lesson of self-improvement has an essential significance for Sylvia and other kids regardless of their appreciation.


In conclusion, the story has clearly suggested the solution to the core problem of the African-American community, which is to motivate and encourage young members of the community to lead a prosperous life. Although Sylvia is highly reluctant to Miss Moore’s preaching about money management and education, the key benefit of the lesson is yet to be gained. The children may not currently realize it, however, the message about the possibility of wealth and enrichment was fully acquired. Miss Moore’s approach was an important one because she explained the critical information needed and showed her students the results of implementing the given knowledge.

Works Cited

Bambara, Toni Cade. The Lesson. 1972, Web.

Meyer, Bruce D. and James X. Sullivan. Consumption and Income Inequality in the U.S. Since the 1960s. The Journal of Economic Research, 2017, Web.

Seider, Scott, et al. “Black and Latinx Adolescents’ Developing Beliefs about Poverty and Associations with their Awareness of Racism.” Developmental Psychology, vol. 3, no. 55, 2019, pp. 509-524

Social Ecological Model Paper: Human Papillomavirus


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus that infects humans. Around 30-40 types of HPV are transmitted via genital contact. HPV can not be treated at present, but the problems the virus causes are treated. These health problems are genital warts and cervical cancer. There is also HPV vaccine that prevents people from contracting the virus. 50% of female college students are at risk of contracting the virus due to knowledge deficit (Licht et al., 2010).

Currently, about 79 million persons are infected with the virus and 14 million new cases are reported annually. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer among women, although some other 19,000 types of cancers are also caused by HPV in women. Men are also infected with the virus, and it is estimated that it is responsible for 8,000 types of cancers in men (Markowitz et al., 2013). This report will analyze social ecological models and human papillomavirus. It will discuss the impacts of public health initiatives at various levels.

Intrapersonal level

Intrapersonal level involves an individual’s mind and perception of things. In this respect, what are the impacts of public health initiatives to an individual towards HPV infection and treatment? HPV screening is a public health initiative that has had an impact on individuals. Pap smear for screening cervical cancer is crucial in detecting early infections for early interventions. Individuals have been urged to go for screening services, and this has made them aware of their HPV status. HPV among individuals in the U.S is performed annually or on scheduled dates with the aim of detecting the virus.

Sensitization on HPV screening and vaccination is another public health initiative that has had impacts at intrapersonal level. Sensitization enables individuals to decide about their own health and make an attempt to avail themselves for screening and vaccination.

Interpersonal level

This level is characterized by communication and other forms of interaction among individuals. Individuals communicate and discuss matters relating to HPV, and they may make them seek services offered by healthcare facilities. Sensitization is a public health initiative that has impacted individuals on the way they adopt screening and treatment for HPV. Sensitization on HPV is done in print and electronic media. When individuals get sensitized on HPV they communicate with their friends and relatives and this helps them decide to go for screening and treatment services in healthcare facilities (Markowitz et al., 2013).

Institutional level

Institutions play a role in reducing HPV cases among their members. Institutions may be schools, colleges, universities, banks and non-governmental agencies among others. HPV screening is a public health initiative that has enabled institutions encourage their members know their HPV status. HPV sensitization initiative has also impacted institutions positively. Institutions sensitize their members to seek screening and treatment services for HPV.

Community level

Community involves individuals at different ages and socio-economic status. Community perception and uptake of healthcare services geared towards reducing HPV infections is essential to containing the virus. HPV screening and sensitization are public health initiatives that have positively impacted members of a community (Daley et al., 2011).

Public policy level

At public policy level, the concerned bodies attempt to address HPV matters. The matters are dealt with according to laid down stipulations. HPV sensitization is a public health initiative that has made the work of HPV public policy actors easy. When the public is sensitized, HPV screening and vaccination services are adopted by many members (Daley et al., 2011).


Daley, E., Alio, A., Anstey, E. H., Chandler, R., Dyer, K., & Helmy, H. (2011). Examining barriers to cervical cancer screening and treatment in Florida through a socio-ecological lens. Journal of community health, 36(1), 121-131.

Licht, A. S., Murphy, J. M., Hyland, A. J., Fix, B. V., Hawk, L. W., & Mahoney, M. C. (2010). Is use of the human papillomavirus vaccine among female college students related to human papillomavirus knowledge and risk perception?. Sexually transmitted infections, 86(1), 74-78.

Markowitz, L. E., Hariri, S., Lin, C., Dunne, E. F., Steinau, M., McQuillan, G., & Unger, E. R. (2013). Reduction in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Prevalence Among Young Women Following HPV Vaccine Introduction in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2003–2010. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 208(1), 385-393.

Comparison And Contrasting Of Nursing Theories: Elisabeth Kubler-ross And Hildegard Peplau

The philosophy of nursing

The philosophy of nursing, which underlies all nursing and non-nursing theories, describes a system of views on the relationship between a nurse, a patient, society, and the environment. The philosophy of nursing is a theoretical foundation of the nursing profession, revealing the main provisions that determine its meaning, direction, and role in society.

The Theory of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: Brief History

For example, many people know the theory according to which grief goes through several stages when a person receives unbearable information. Its scope is wide: from hospices to company boards of directors (da Maia et al., 2017). When the Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross began working in American hospitals in 1958, she was struck by the lack of methods of psychological assistance to the dying patient. Kubler-Ross graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich, after which she left for the United States in 1958. She has worked extensively in hospitals in New York, Chicago, and Colorado, deeply resenting the treatment of dying patients by doctors. Unlike her colleagues, she communicated with the dying, listened to their stories about the emotions they felt. This is how her course of lectures on near-death experiences came about. She began teaching workshops with medical students at Colorado State University based on her conversations with cancer patients about how they thought and felt (Alligood, 2018). Later, based on the results of her observations and conversations, in 1969, she published a book On Death and Dying, in which she cited typical statements of her patients, and then moved on to a discussion of how to help doomed people leave life without fear and torment.

The Theory of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: Conceptual Description

Kübler-Ross described in detail the five emotional states that a person goes through after knowing a fatal diagnosis: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. She considered all five stages to be protective mechanisms of the psyche, which are triggered in an extremely difficult situation (Newman, 2004). A separate chapter of her book is devoted to each of the stages. In addition to the five main ones, the author singled out intermediate states – the first shock, preliminary grief, hope – in total, from 10 to 13 types. Below, there is a detailed description of each of the five main stages (Alligood, 2018):

The first stage is denial and isolation. Usually, shock and denial arise in patients who were told a fatal diagnosis at the very beginning of the development of the disease, or in those who guessed it themselves. Too strong shock is present in patients to whom this news was prematurely and unexpectedly reported by a person who does not know the patient well or who was not prepared. Denial and shock are common in almost all patients and not only in the early stages of the disease. Shock, according to Kübler-Ross, acts as a form of protection; it softens unexpected strikes and allows the patient to arrange his/her thoughts, and later use other, less radical forms of protection. After the shock comes the stage of denial, which later transforms into the stage of partial denial.

The second stage is anger. When the patient is unable to deny the obvious, he is overwhelmed with rage, irritation, envy, and resentment. He asks the question: “Why me?” In this case, it is difficult for the patient’s family and hospital staff to communicate with the patient. The patient suddenly throws out his indignation on others; he scolds the doctors for keeping him in the hospital for too long, the nurses for being either too annoying or indifferent, and visiting relatives cause only irritation and anger in the patient, which leads relatives to a state of grief.

The third stage is bargaining. This stage is rather short; during it, the patient is trying to “negotiate” with the disease. He/she knows that good behavior is rewarded; at first, the patient desires to prolong life, and later they are replaced by hope for at least a few days without pain and inconvenience, or hope for the fulfillment of a cherished desire. In essence, the deal is an attempt to delay the inevitable. It not only defines the award for “good behavior,” but also establishes a certain “final line”. If the dream comes true, the patient promises not to ask for anything else. At the same time, usually, no one keeps his words.

The fourth stage is depression. Numbness, irritability, and resentment soon give way to a feeling of great loss, and depression arises. Kubler-Ross distinguishes two types of depression: reactive and preparatory grief. Reactive depression is often accompanied by a feeling of guilt that the person has changed due to illness, that is, regret about the past. A person in this state cannot face their illness and the threat of death, but, at the same time, he/she is prone to verbose communication, since he/she wants to share his worries. The stage of depression, which Kubler-Ross called “preparatory grief” is characterized by the fact that it is caused by inevitable losses in the future, that is, the patient is aware of the inevitability of the end; at this stage, usually the person mostly keeps silence.

However, many researchers point to the problems of this model (Bonanno & Boerner, 2007):

  1. According to observations, patients do not go through all stages, and the order of their sequence is not followed.
  2. Kubler-Ross did not use data collection and analysis methodologies; she identified the stages after conducting interviews with patients, which were subjective.
  3. Stages tell patients how to feel rather than describe how they feel. Patients and their relatives adapt to a well-known stage program.
  4. The strong dependence of the patient’s condition on the environment does not give grounds to believe that they will go through the same stages.

The Theory of Hildegard Peplau: Brief History

It should be noted that early theorists of nursing in the 1950s viewed primarily the tasks of a nurse from a rather mechanistic perspective. Namely because of this, the emphasis on the foundation of nursing – the value of care, aspects of interpersonal relations, the aesthetics of nursing practice – has been leveled. The early writers of nursing theories did not attempt to address metaparadigmatic concepts, since there was no consensus about this at the time (Haber, 2000). However, Hildegard Peplau, a psychiatric nurse who combined her research work with experience, developed the theory of psycho-dynamic nursing care.

Hildegard Peplau was considered the “nurse of the century” and the “mother of psychiatric nursing care” for her remarkable theoretical contributions to medicine. Since 1952, her theories have served as a contribution to the development of modern nursing, as well as a training base for professionals and potential research in the field of psychotherapy and mental health (Haber, 2000). It was a middle theory that focused on both nursing and the patient. The author has defined the concept and stages of development of the nurse-patient relationship.

The Theory of Hildegard Peplau: Conceptual Description

Peplau defined patient care as the human relationship between a sick person and a nurse trained to recognize and respond to a need for help. The primary goal of a nurse is to help sick persons identify their perceived difficulties and then use the principles of human relations to resolve them (Alligood, 2018). In general, Peplau presented nursing as a complex process of interpersonal and therapeutic interaction between a nurse and a patient, where the nurse acts as an assistant, advisor, and guardian for the patient, and the process of their interpersonal interaction includes several sequential stages: orientation, identification, explanation, and resolution. (Alligood, 2018). She defined nursing as the art of healing: the nurse and the patient work together, during which they both mature and gain new knowledge.

Theories Comparison

Thus, while the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross model is intended for use in the dying process, aimed at palliative care, the Hildegard Peplau model is aimed at speedy recovery of the patient. However, both models are based on the principle of human relations and apply some elements of behaviorism (although its application is not declared in any of these models).

The behaviorist approach provides more opportunities for studying the role of heredity and the history of the development of the environment about the effect on the formation of biosocial systems than mentalism, which deals with unraveling, interpreting the logic of already committed and future actions, as well as the thoughts and feelings that arise during this process. The logic of behavior is determined by a system of current needs, formalized as motivation that gives meaning and emotional tone to behavior and activities aimed at changing the environment; the environment, in turn, affects our feelings. Understanding these processes allows restoring the system of cause-and-effect relationships between the actions that took place, behavioral reactions, and creating their imitation model, which was done both in the theory of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Hildegard Peplau.


Alligood, M. A. (2018). Nursing theorists and their work (9th ed.). Mosby/Elsevier.

Bonanno, G., & Boerner, K. (2007). The stage theory of grief. JAMA, 297(24), 2692-2694.

da Maia, B., Seiler, L., Futami, A., & de Oliveira, M. (2017). The phases of dying in organizations – a case study for new business. European Journal of Business and Management, 9(23), 46-52.

Haber, J. (2000). Hildegard E. Peplau: The psychiatric nursing legacy of a legend. Journal of American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 6(2), 56-62.

Newman, L. (2004). Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. BMJ, 329(7466), 627-628.

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