A Lesson Before Dying Jefferson Character Analysis

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Characterization of Jefferson 05.05.18 Jefferson is one of the two main characters in the novel “A lesson before dying” by Ernest J. Gaines so in order to truly understand the novel it is crucial to shed some light on Jefferson’s character. To begin with, Jefferson is a 21 year old, uneducated young black man, who has worked his whole life on a plantation for little money without complaining (p.196, ll.11-14). However, now being innocently involved in a shooting and robbery (p.9, ll.16-17), he is sent to death. One have to take into account that his attorney defended him by comparing him to a hog (p.12, l.5). As a consequence, Jefferson is becoming obsessed with the idea of being no more than a hog (p.76, ll.21). Therefore he begins to act like a hog, when his former teacher Grant Wiggins and his godmother Miss Emma come to visit him. Consequently, one is faced with the task of analysing a character who is in a disastrous state of mind and has an unhealthy attitude towards himself. At the first visits of Miss Emma and Grant Wiggins the reader gets to know Jefferson as a quiet, indifferent character, who has already resigned himself to dying and lives by the mindset that nothing matters anymore (p.67-70). …show more content…

He keeps saying that he is a hog and being fattened up for Christmas, until he will be killed (p.76, ll.22). Afterwards, he even mimics a hog by demonstrating how a hog like him is supposed to eat (p.76, ll.33-36). One can see here that he really took the lawyer’s words to heart and decided to meet the expectation that the whites have set for him. He continues to act like a hog, when Miss Emma visits him, so that she sees no other choice than just slapping him (p.108, ll.26). Again one can figure out from that scene, how stuck he is already in the mindset and also his deadpan expression speaks

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