A Lesson Before Dying:henri Pichot Essay

361 WordsJan 18, 20112 Pages
Henri Pichot Henri Pichot,the owner of the plantation,is a member of the white ruling class in Bayonne.He is somewhat stubborn and unwilling to respect his African Americanworkers and household employees.Well-respected and in a position of power,he is against the idea of change: He clings to the status quo because it allows him to feel superior to African Americans.Because of segregation and in order to get into his house,African Americans have to walk through the back door.Grant,Miss Emma and Tante Lou are kept waiting in the kitchen for a long time till they are allowed to enter.This is despite their services:Miss Emma and Tante Lou worked for him for a long time as household employees.Consequently we can say that they are treated in a condescending way.For instance,the elderly Miss Emma and Tante Lou are not offered a seat.Furthermore,Miss Emma´s request to help Jefferson is at first met with a negative response,as Pichot is not interested in helping them.Moreover,Pichot does not like educated African Americans like Grant because they do not fit into his narrow-minded worldview.At one point Grant thinks "I was too educated for Henri Pichot." This means he must not show his level of education.Of course Pichot knows that Grant is intelligent and educated,but he could become angry and would not help Grant gain visitation rights in prison.Therefore,in spite of Grant´s high level of education,Pichot still treats him as inferior.Grant has to mask his true feelings in order to get what he wants.They need his cooperation in the plan:Pichot is the brother-in-law of Sheriff Guidry, the person responsible for Jefferson. Usually, only family and priests are allowed to visit prisoners. The women seek Pichot's influence with the sheriff so that he can make an exception which he does.By the end of the novel,Pichot has even undergone a slight transformation:In one scene Pichot

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