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A Lesson Before Dying Journal

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A Lesson Before Dying Journal
A Lesson Before Dying Journals
Gains, Ernest. A Lesson Before Dying. New York. Vintage Contemporaries, 1993.
Government:
“Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person. Justice?” (Gains 157).

Gains shows the reader how corrupt the justice system is in this quote. Gains character, Grant, isn’t happy about how the system works. He tells the reader how white men do everything in the government, they make up the jury and have a say but not a single colored man has a say in the government or the fate of another colored man. Gains stresses the point of the corrupt government due to racial inequalities.

“A statue of a Confederate soldier stood to the right of the walk that led up to the courthouse door. Above the head of the statue, national, state, and confederate flags flew on long metal poles” (Gains 69).

Gains depict the corrupt government by showing the courthouse. Standing in front is the statue of the Confederate soldier. The courthouse is supposed to be a place of equality but it shows the south still approves of slaves and segregation. It frustrates the colored community to know they are downgraded by their color. The courthouse is an example of the separation of the government.
“ ‘Gentlemen of the jury, be merciful. For God’s sake, be merciful. He is innocent of all charges brought against him’” (Gains 8).
Gains illustrates how the government and justice system is corrupt when an innocent man is sentenced to death for no reason. Jefferson never killed anyone but was killed by cruel words, humiliation, and misjudgment. But the fact is even though he didn’t have a thing to do with it a white man was killed so they must end a black man’s life. Gains frustration becomes evident through Grant when he explains how it’s an all white jury and a white judge and a white man who sets the date, and not a single colored person is involved when a black man is being convicted.

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