This story takes place in the 1940. In a small city called Bayou County, Louisiana. The major characters in this story are Jefferson and Grant. The protagonist characters are Vivian, Tante Lou, and Reverend Ambrose; they encourage Grant that although his effort appeared to be futile, he is having a strong influence on Jefferson. The antagonist characters which include Sheriff Guidry, Henri Pichot, and Mathew Antoine; they tried to convince Grant that no matter what he did for Jefferson or his school children, he could not divert them from inevitable futures.
On a day when Jefferson was suppose to go hunting; he ended up at the liquor store with his friends Brother and Bear. The trip suddenly turns into a robbery, and while Jefferson watches in horror, Brother, Bear, and Mr. Grope the store owner, die in a shootout. Not knowing how to use the telephone, Jefferson unwisely grabs the money and gets caught leaving the store. At his trial, the defense attorney argues that Jefferson is innocent because a black man is no more capable of planning out this crime than a hog. A jury of twelve white men convicts Jefferson and he is sentence to die by electrocution.
A few days later Grant returns home to find his Aunt and Miss Emma waiting for him. Stung by the attorney’s comparison of Jefferson and a hog, Miss Emma asks Grant to visit Jefferson in Miss Emma’s place. Afterwards, Grant goes to the Rainbow Room and talks with Vivian, his girlfriend. He hates the town, hates his teaching job, and wants to run away from all his problems and take Vivian with him. But Vivian is convinced that helping Jefferson is something Grant needs to do.
Grant goes back to Pichot’s house to talk with the Sheriff, who keeps him, waiting for two hours before coming into the kitchen to talk with him. He questions Grant in a condescending manner, but agrees to allow him to visit Jefferson on the condition that he doesn’t agitate him. Back at school Grant wonders how many of his pupils will end...