A Lesson Before Dying Polished Essay

468 WordsApr 30, 20142 Pages
What makes a book exceptional? It’s the little details that change the book, the details that without them the book would have had a different story. In A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines minor characters played a big role. I noticed three minor characters that portrayed a big role in this book. Vivian, Grant’s girlfriend, Paul, a security guard of the prison in Bayonne, and Tante Lou, Grant’s aunt. These characters influenced the book and the main characters. Although I saw Vivian only as Grant’s girlfriend, she was the main reason Grant stayed instead of running off with her. She always told him that he had to stay here because he had Tante Lou to take care of and as well Miss Emma. Vivian also told him that they had to stay because she had her children, but that was not the reason Grant stayed. Vivian is sort of the encouragement of Grant to keep going in life. Every time something good happened Grant would tell Vivian. All of Grant’s will power came from Vivian, Miss Emma, and Tante Lou. Paul served as a big minor character as well. Social inequality is sadly majorly seen in this book. “But let us say he was not. Let us for a moment say he was not. What justice would there be to take this life? Justice, gentlemen? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this.” (8) Paul does not care about the color of your skin. He is the symbol of hope, the symbol to ending racism in the book. I did not notice this before because I only thought of him as a guard and nothing else, but as we started analyzing in the Socratic seminar I understood the actual role Paul played. Tante Lou is a positive force in Grant’s life and in the community. In some ways, she is responsible for Grant’s evolution. She demands that he behave with compassion and bravery, nagging him to help Jefferson and insisting that he speak with the Pichots in order to be able to

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