Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Free Essays - A Lesson Before Dying :: Lesson Before Dying Essays

Ganes, Earnest J. A Lesson Before Dying. New York: Vintage Books   1993. Genre: Novel 256 pages Setting: The story is set in a small Cajun Louisiana town in the 1940’s. The setting in this story is significant because, the whole story is about how a young black boy is treated unfairly and sentenced to death because of something he did not do. It also deals with the emotions that this black boy faces because he has been treated unfairly by the white people. Major Characters: Jefferson, black boy who is accused of a crime and sentenced to death; Grant Wiggons, teacher sent to help Jefferson. After he went and obtained a college degree, Grant Wiggins goes back to live with his grandmother. Being that he is a very educated person, Grant was elected by his grandmother to try and get Jefferson to realize that he was a man and not an animal like the white people had led him to believe. Throughout the entire novel, Grant is battling this idea in his head because he doesn’t feel that even he knows what it is to be a man. He doesn’t believe that he is the right person to talk to Jefferson. But by the end of the novel, he figures out what it is to be a man. Minor Characters: Miss Emma is Jefferson’s grandmother. She is the one who had the whole idea of Grant going up to the jail and talking to Jefferson, showing him that he is a man. Tante Lou is Grant’s aunt. She is the person who raised Grant to be the good, kind person that he is. She is also the one who talked Grant into talking to Jefferson. Vivian is Grant’s girlfriend; she is Grant’s encouragement. Whatever problems he has, he always talks to her about them and she makes him feel better, and helps him through them. Summary: This story is about racism in the south and how it affects the people it concerns. It starts out with Jefferson being sentenced to death for a crime that he did not commit. He was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and because he was black, they assumed he did it. Grant Wiggins is told to go up to the jail and convince Jefferson that he is a man. At first he doesn’t know how to make Jefferson see that he is a man, but through visiting Jefferson, talking to Vivian and witnessing things around the community, he is able to reach Jefferson, convince him that he was a man.

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