A Lesson Before Dying: Summary

Topics: Education, Teacher, Life Pages: 2 (453 words) Published: November 7, 2011
A Lesson Before Dying
As human, there are a lot that happens around us which distract our innermost being causing us to lose control of ourselves. Everybody changes for one reason or another, but the lessons of life is a main reason for change. The novel “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines is an outstanding book that portrays great acts of kindness and shows how one can overcome everybody else while confined and put in the worst of conditions. It shows how friendships go hand in hand and how people use each other for support when it is most needed. Thus, the transformation of Jefferson in the novel takes place with the help of a benefactor Grant, who also receives a transformation of his own; he must learn to believe in himself and deal with adversity before he can help Jefferson achieve peace as he faces death.

Grant Wiggin is an elementary school teacher very intelligent and well educated. He get discourage after all his degree, that white people still considered him inferior which made him believe that the chronic world of racism will never change thinking escape is the only option. When Grant was chosen by Miss Emma to teach Jefferson, who was about to be excoriated become a man, he had no faith in himself neither his society, nor his church. He fears committing himself to a fight he cannot win. This apathetic attitude makes him shun responsibility. He feels flustered thinking to himself how can he teach someone else to become a man when he himself is not sure that he is even a man? Not only does he think he can’t help Jefferson become a man circumscribe his teaching as no effect on his students, and also considers himself powerless to changes his own life. This is one reason he abandons religion, because the redemption of mankind contradicts his belief that environment dictates our life’s course. Meanwhile, his perspective changed as a result of his visits to Jefferson, commitments to Vivian and interaction with Miss Emmy, Tante Louis, and...
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