In A Lesson Before Dying, Mr. Grant Wiggins' life crises were the center
of the story. Although he was supposed to make Jefferson into a man, he himself
became more of one as a result. Not to say that Jefferson was not in any way
transformed from the "hog" he was into an actual man, but I believe this story
was really written about Mr. Wiggins.
Mr. Wiggins improved as a person greatly in this book, and that helped
his relationships with other people for the most part. At the start of the
book, he more or less hated Jefferson, but after a while he became his friend
and probably the only person Jefferson felt he could trust. The turning point
in their relationship was the one visit in which Jefferson told Mr. Wiggins that
he wanted a gallon of ice cream, and that he never had enough ice cream in his
whole life. At that point Jefferson confided something in Mr. Wiggins,
something that I didn't see Jefferson doing often at all in this book.
"I saw a slight smile come to his face, and it was not a bitter smile.
Not bitter at all"; this is the first instance in which Jefferson breaks his
somber barrier and shows emotions. At that point he became a man, not a hog. As
far as the story tells, he never showed any sort of emotion before the shooting
or after up until that point. A hog can't show emotions, but a man can. There
is the epiphany of the story, where Mr. Wiggins realizes that the ...
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- After the Civil War ended, many blacks and whites, especially in the South, continued living as if nothing had changed with regards to the oppression and poor treatment of African Americans. Narrator Grant Wiggins, of Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, possesses a similar attitude toward race relations. Through his experiences with a young man wrongly accused of murder, Grant transforms from a pessimistic, hopeless, and insensitive man into a more selfless and compassionate human being who can see the possibility of change in relations between whites and blacks.... [tags: A Lesson Before Dying ]
2722 words (7.8 pages)
- Suffering through the horrors of racism, black Americans appear to have no chance of progression in society. Generation after generation of being uneducated and treated like animals has left the black community in shambles, and thinking they are not as good as the whites. In the 1940's it was difficult to find a black man who could read and write. The black man's illiteracy caused them to believe that they were less civilized than the whites. In Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, we are introduced to Jefferson, an uneducated, average black man who has been wrongly accused of a murder. Convinced that he is an animal, Jefferson is going to be taught by Reverend Ambrose and Grant Wiggins... [tags: A Lesson Before Dying Essays]
1119 words (3.2 pages)
- A Lesson before Dying, one of Ernest J. Gaines later works, was written in 1993. Some of his earlier works include A Gathering of Old Men and In My Father’s House. The novel covers a time period when blacks were still treated unfairly and looked down upon. Jefferson, a main character, has been wrongly accused of a crime and awaits his execution in jail. Grant, the story’s main protagonist must find it within himself to help Jefferson see that he is a man, which will allow him to walk bravely to his fate that lies in the execution chair.... [tags: A Lesson before Dying Ernest J. Gaines Essays]
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- In Ernest J. Gaines novel A Lesson Before Dying, a young African-American man named Jefferson is caught in the middle of a liquor shootout, and, as the only survivor, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. During Jefferson’s trial, the defense attorney had called him an uneducated hog as an effort to have him released, but the jury ignored this and sentenced him to death by electrocution anyways. Appalled by this, Jefferson’s godmother, Miss Emma, asks the sheriff if visitations by her and the local school teacher, Grant Wiggins, would be possible to help Jefferson become a man before he dies.... [tags: A Lesson Before Dying]
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- A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines This book shows us that, even in the face of hopelessness, there is indeed hope, and there is a need to move forward. There is nothing that can change what the outcome will be in the end. However, in light of this, a person is left with two options. Either they could deny and fight it the entire way, or accept it, learn from it, and move forward. This paper will show you,, when given this situation, what the outcome will be when one choices to accept it and move on.... [tags: Gaines Lesson Before Dying]
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- Jefferson, a black man condemned to die by the electric chair in the novel, A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines, is perhaps the strongest character in African-American literature. Jefferson is a courageous young black man that a jury of all white men convicts of a murder he has not committed ; yet he still does not let this defeat destroy his personal character. Ernest Gaines portrays Jefferson this way to illustrate the fundamental belief that mankind’s defeats do not necessarily lead to his destruction.... [tags: A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines]
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- The Literary Merit of A Lesson Before Dying Ernest Gaines was born during the middle of the Great Depression on January 15, 1933. He was the oldest of twelve children. At the age of nine Gaines worked as an errand boy on the River Lake Plantation, the same plantation his book A Lesson Before Dying was set in. Gaines was raised by his Aunt Augusteen Jefferson, much like Grant, the protagonist in the novel, was raised by his Aunt Tante Lou. At the age of fifteen Gaines rejoined his immediate family in Vallejo, California because there were no high schools for him to attend in Louisiana.... [tags: Lesson Before Dying Essays]
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- After the civil war ended many blacks and whites especially in the south, continued living as if nothing had changed with regards to the oppressions and poor treatment of African Americans. Narrator Grant Wiggins, of the novel A Lesson Before Dying, By Ernest Gaines, finds himself in a similar situation towards racism. Through his experience Grant is forced to transform Jefferson who was wrongly accused of a murder from a “HOG” into a man. Although Grant was forced to make jefferson a man, he himself became more of one as a result.... [tags: racism, prejudice]
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- In A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, Grant Wiggins is asked to turn Jefferson, a young man on death row, into an honorable man before his execution. Grant faces many difficulties when Jefferson is unresponsive and refuses to comply with Grant and Aunt Emma’s request. Throughout the story, Grant struggles to find motivation to keep working with Jefferson as he faces the difficulty of racism and prejudice. The author of the novel, Ernest J. Gaines, uses characterization to prove the theme that a lack of compassion in individuals can prevent people from uniting to form a better society, because they do not try to understand one another.... [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]
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- Inner Conflict in Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying "They sentence you to death because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, with no proof that you had anything at all to do with the crime other than being there when it happened. Yet six months later they come and unlock your cage and tell you, We, us, white folks all, have decided it’s time for you to die, because this is the convenient date and time" (158). Ernest J. Gaines shows the internal conflicts going through the mind of Mr.... [tags: Lesson Before Dying Essays]
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