A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Topics: African American, Racism, White people Pages: 1 (370 words) Published: October 25, 2007
In the novel "A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines the main character Jefferson was wrongfully accused of being an accessory to murder and for robbery. The author started the story off with Jefferson's trial verdict and with no specific names because he wanted to give an run through of the novel and emphasize the importance of the trial. During the trial Jefferson- the young, black, African American man faces racism.

Jefferson had got an ride from two of his friends. They had stopped to an Drug Store. Then all of a sudden Jefferson's two friends was robbing the Drug Store . Jefferson's two friends and the store-clerk Mr. Grope started shooting at each other. Mr. Grope and his Jefferson's two friends had gotten shot and killed leaving Jefferson to be the only person alive. Jefferson was not aware that his friends was planning to rob the store but he did not have any money so he stole the money out of the register. When Jefferson was leaving the store he got caught by the police and went to jail for robbery and accessory to murder.

Jefferson trial was based on racism. The jury and the judge were all white. This novel showed how racist the white people where to the colored. In the novel a lawyer refers to Jefferson as an animal "What justice would there be to take this life ? Justice gentlemen ? Why I would just out an Hog in the electric chair as this" the lawyer was hoping by saying Jefferson was an hog he would get his sentencing reduced but it didn't do nothing but hurt Jefferson's dignity and made Jefferson's grandmother Miss. Emma upset. So Miss. Emma decided to get Jefferson help.

A black, African American teacher name Mr. Grant Wiggins is who Miss. Emma got to help Jefferson to better his dignity and help him die as a man. In the beginning Mr. Wiggins did not like Jefferson. He thought Jefferson did not and never would learn anything from the situation he was involved in. But later in the novel Mr. Wiggins realized he had learned a lot from the...
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