A Lesson Before Dying Essay

1932 WordsJun 2, 20138 Pages
“A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities." In the book, A Lesson before Dying by Ernest J. Gains, several powerful topics occur. It takes place in Louisiana, at a plantation, in 1948. This novel is based off a young man named Jefferson, who was minding his own business when two of his friends bother, and Bear pop up. The two of them convince Jefferson to come with him to the liquor store with them. Soon though that would change his life drastically, for he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A shooting took place at the store, but he didn't move a muscle. Everyone was dead, but him. Later on he was sentenced to death, yet he did nothing he was still accused for the crime. His god mother Miss Emma was broken by the news, she knew nothing could be done about it. Jefferson’s own lawyer, who was white, called him a hog! All Miss Emma prayed for then, was for her young boy to become a man not a hog! Absolutely nothing could change, for they were all racist white men. Miss Emma had a friend named Tante Lou; Tante had a nephew named Grant who was a teacher. He is supposed to be the change for Jefferson to become a man, and not a hog. Will Jefferson come forward, and change? Jefferson does change his act from being a hog to a man, with the assistance of Grant and Reverend Ambrose. Jefferson plays a great role in changing his act from a hog to a man. Even though at first, he perceives no point in taking forth in that achievement. “But let us say he was (guilt). Let us for a moment say he was (guilt). What justice would there be to take his life? Justice, gentlemen? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair on

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