Character Analysis Of Jefferson In Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying

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No matter who a person is or what others think of him or her, that person will always have the opportunity to change for the better; Nobody has the power to tell a person what he or she can or cannot do. In the novel, A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines, the protagonist, Jefferson discovers that he could change as a whole person and finally become a man, even under difficult circumstances. He is constantly discriminated and does not feel welcomed to the society. Throughout the majority of the novel, Jefferson believes he is his own stereotype and takes it to heart when he is being called a hog. Although he knows he will be exiled, Jefferson and his family hopes for a change in his heart. Gaines’ treatment of Jefferson’s evolving character…show more content…
Grant is hopeful to change Jefferson by giving him a notebook and having him write down all his feelings. Grant even dreamed that, “There was a lot of erasing, then he wrote: If I ain’t nothing but a hog, how come they just don’t knock me in the head like a hog? Starb me like a hog? More erasing, then: Man walk on two foots; hogs on four hoofs,” (Gaines 220). Eventually, Jefferson did manage to write down all of his thoughts and get his anger out of him. The notebook that was handed Jefferson symbolizes his worth and sense of education. People, such as the sheriff and the “white folks”, believe he is an old hog who does not know how to read or write. The notebook that is handed to him shows everything that Jefferson knows and thinks about on a daily basis. Some of his last words were, “good by mr wigin tell them im strong tell them im a man good by mr wigin im gon ax paul if he can bring you this," (Gaines 234). By writing down his thoughts, Jefferson begins to seriously think about his life and reflect on the world. As Grant gives the notebook to Jefferson, it symbolizes his aspiration to teach Jefferson and help him teach
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