Section A) “What justice would there be to take his life? Justice, gentleman? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this.” - Pg.8 This quotation is important to the plot and character development in the novel because it compares Jefferson (a young black man convicted of murder) to a hog. During the trial, this quote was the closing statement said by Jefferson's attorney after comparing Jefferson to a fool and a child who does not acquire any sense of what action he had done that day. This sentence was remembered by Jefferson's godmother, and was the only sentence she remembers during the trial. This comparison of a black man to a hog relates to the title “A lesson before dying” because the lesson would be Jefferson knowing that he is not a hog, but a human being.
“I don’t want them to kill no hog... I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet.” - pg.13 This quotation is important to the plot and character development in the novel because it shows how much Miss Emma (Jefferson's godmother) cares about Jefferson dying, and wants him to know that he is not a hog but a regular human being like them all. That is what she wants everyone to acknowledge which is why she asks Grant (main character) to educate Jefferson to think that he will die a man, than die as a hog.
Section B – Paragraph On Personal Connection)
I know how Grant feels because I too have been forced to do something countless times by my family as well. An example would be that everyday, I would have to clean up all the dishes used by my family. Even If I don't want to do it, I would eventually have to because my parents bring up the “roof on top of my head” excuse. This excuse was used by Tante Lou (Grant's aunt, pg. 14) to force him to accept their offer of teaching Jefferson to be a man, and to come with them to see Mr. Henri (a rich white man with power), “You going up there...