Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying

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What kind of change do people undergo during their time in jail, or do they experience any change at all? The change people may experience can change their viewpoints towards life drastically. In A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines portrays a young black man who is convicted of a false crime and sentenced to death, get thrown into jail because of his skin color. He learns an important lesson during the confinement he wrongly received, a lesson before dying. During his time in jail, Jefferson learns that he is no less human than other people, that he has the capacity to change, and the low expectations he had for himself, which shows that he has changed by learning self-respect for himself and allows him to face his fate with dignity.
First, Jefferson learns that he is no less human than other people. Jefferson admits that he is strong and that he is a man, not the hog the white men say he is, “good by mr wigin tell them im strong and tell them im a man good by mr wigin im gon
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Jefferson has never done anything that requires him to do a lot of work, “i aint never rote nothin but homework i aint never rote a leter in all my life. . . not me so i cant think of too much to say but maybe next time“ (226). At the beginning of Jefferson’s diary, Jefferson states that he can’t think of too much to write because he has never done anything like it. It’s implied subtly that since Jefferson’s never done anything that requires much work, he’s probably never expected it from himself either. Additionally, Jefferson has never done the amount of work that he has done in his diary, “i try an think what you mean i got mo cause i aint done this much thinkin and this much writin in all my life befor ” (229). Jefferson has never done the amount of thinking and writing in his diary than he has in all his life and potentially shows that he’s never expected himself to do all the work he has done in the first
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