Jefferson In A Lesson Before Dying

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Imagine being in a situation where there are a limited number of options and your life can only go in one direction. Has this ever happened to you? Either way, this is the predicament that the character of Jefferson faces in A Lesson Before Dying, who is sentenced to death for crimes that he did not commit. Although Jefferson has only thirty days left to live, he learns three valuable lessons that he carries with him into his final hours. This includes learning to open up to the people closest to him, showing kindness and love to those who have shown kindness to him, and finding self-worth in the age of Jim-Crow. At the beginning of A Lesson Before Dying, Jefferson was a character that didn’t want to speak or interact with anyone, including…show more content…
Emma and Grant. After learning to open back up to his friends and family, he still gives them disrespect. A few pages after Jefferson talks to Grant, Ms. Emma comes to have a conversation with him. After she asks Jefferson how he is feeling, he doesn’t even respond or act like she’s there(pg 136), showing how much Jefferson in entrenched into the idea of not finding value in himself. Furthermore, on page 130, while Jefferson talks up to Grant, he tries to anger him by insulting his girlfriend and testing his patience. Both of these interactions take place in cases where Jefferson shows signs of opening up to others, but they are also instances of how little Jefferson loves or cares about those who care about him. On page 139, this is addressed when Jefferson has another conversation with Grant a couple of days later. When talking with Jefferson, Grant tells him, “no matter how bad off we are,’ I said, ‘we still owe something. You owe something, Jefferson. Not to me. But to your godmother. You must show her some understanding, some kind of love.” Then Jefferson tells him, “That’s for youman’s... I ain’t no youman.” Later in the book, Jefferson eventually starts to show love to his loved ones again after having a powerful, life-changing conversation with Grant. After this, he is able to eat Ms. Emma’s food and is able to hold
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