A Lesson Before Dying Essay

470 WordsJul 22, 20132 Pages
Jefferson’s diary testifies to the mutual benefits he and Grant get from their friendship and love for one another. Grant bought the diary for Jefferson, and Jefferson writes in it usually as if writing a letter to Grant. Even when he is alone in his cell, Jefferson can write to Grant and feel he has companionship. As Jefferson writes down his thoughts, he begins to think seriously about the world and his role in it. Showing the influence of Grant’s words, Jefferson writes that he realizes how important he has become to his community. Moreover, the diary will serve as a boon for Grant’s self-confidence and his sense of self-worth, as he himself initiated the use of the diary by engaging Jefferson and buying him the notebook and pencil. The white characters are not uniformly cruel to Jefferson, although their token kindnesses do not matter much in the face of the death penalty their people imposed on Jefferson. Mr. Pichot shows some compassion toward Jefferson by offering to sharpen his pencil and then giving him the knife as a gift. Guidry kindly offers to leave the light on so Jefferson can write. Also, in the past, Guidry has allowed numerous visitors to see Jefferson. Guidry asks Jefferson to speak well of him in the diary, perhaps both because he wants kind things written about him and because he is anxious for Jefferson to like him. Jefferson’s diary indicates that he places his faith in his tangible friendship with Grant, not necessarily in God. Jefferson does not know whether he should put his faith in religion, since different people say different things about it. Some say heaven does not exist for blacks, but Reverend Ambrose says heaven is for all people. Jefferson’s touching apology to Grant for crying shows that he worries about Grant’s feelings and about what Grant thinks of him. He credits Grant for convincing him that he is somebody. His diary

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