A Lesson Before Dying

1075 Words5 Pages
Education is defined to be the act of gaining knowledge or skill obtained by a learning process. Throughout history, we have encountered a multitude of pathways to be educated, as well as different types of teaching. With the experince of being educated or gaining knowledge, a great number of us have been able to not only understand life and our world better, but as well as improve our life. Although having the advatage of being educated, African Americans during the Pre and Post Reconstrnction Period were not allowed to be educated. As both slaves and African Americans were not encouraged to be educated, caucasian people would have been afraid that they would gain power through the power of knowledge and attempt to find a way to be equal to them. In A Lesson Before Dying, we are able to see this occur, which sets the premise for the main issue within the novel. Within the characters of the novel, the author Ernest J. Gaines gives the characters different positions on the value of formal education. Grant Wiggins is the local school teacher in his neighborhood within the novel. He starts off by working in a town with minumum wage and believes that he will be able to gain a better education and runs off to a university. Later on, he comes back as a well knowledgeable man and a teacher to young children in a school. Although he is educated, he is still looked down upon the white people of his town as well as being distanced from his own black bretheren. Grant is able to see and think more sophisticatedly from his education and teachings. He feels anger towards the white community for radiating such a negative attiude towards the black community for being uneducated yet does not feel that he will be able to help them. As a result he does nothing to help his community, feeling he is not doing any type of harm. Later in the novel, his aunt, Tante Lou persuades him to

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