African Americans' Attitude Toward Whites as Seen in Grant Wiggins and Jefferson

African Americans' Attitude Toward Whites as Seen in Grant Wiggins and Jefferson

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Grant Wiggins and Jefferson, two main protagonists, were in journey to show pride, dignity, and freedom they should have as African American toward white society. Although they started on the different level of education, they both were heading for the same goal until the end as common black man who is searching for the true meaning of their life. The background of this novel was in 1940’s in little town of Bayonne, Louisiana. Even though blacks were legally freed, there was still prejudice, supremacy going on in this town. They may be physically freed, but some people were mentally slaves in their society.
Young black boy, Jefferson, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was in a bar with two friends when they murdered the white bartender. Jefferson was unfairly convicted of murder and sentenced to the electric chair by a white judge and jury. His defense lawyer, in an attempt to avoid the death sentence, labeled him a "hog”. It was this label that Jefferson's godmother wants disproved. She enlisted the help of a school teacher, Grant Wiggins, who at first wasn’t too kind for the idea of helping a crook. Grant agrees to talk with Jefferson only out of a sense of duty. Due to all the humiliation at the hands of the white sheriff, Jefferson's lack of cooperation, and his own sense of unsure faith, Grant forges a bond with Jefferson that leads to wisdom and courage for both. At first, Jefferson saw himself as a hog, and nothing but a hog.
It took Grant much time and strength to convince him that he should live his last days with pride and dignity. Jefferson looks at the entire situation as his fault and will only do what Miss Emma and Tante Lou see fit for him to do. Grant begins his teaching as he has taught for ye...

... middle of paper ...

...At first, Grant was not very concerned about Jefferson. He just wanted to pass the time he had to spend with him. Before long, he began to think of what it would feel like to be a dead man, and what he could do to make the time Jefferson had left be the best it could for him. This was the greatest achievement Grant accomplished in the entire book. After the point in which he discussed the ice cream and the radio with Jefferson and Jefferson admitted for the first time that he was more than a hog, Grant truly cared. Grant developed greatly during the course of this story, along with other characters featured in the story. Vivian met new people and increased the quality of her relationship with Grant, Miss Emma finally got to see someone stand for her, Tante Lou learned that she had a decent nephew after all, and Jefferson got off of his four legs and stood.

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