Obligation In Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying

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“What justice would there be take this life? Justice, gentleman? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electrical chair as it fits?” Jefferson’s attorney said.(8). A Lesson Before Dying is a novel by Ernest J. Gaines. This novel talks about how the jury wrongfully accused Jefferson of murdering Old Grope and the Bear Brother and later the jury assigns Jefferson a death penalty with the electric chair. Jefferson’s attorney has called Jefferson a hog and those words has haunted Jefferson in his mind. Miss Emma, Jefferson’s godmother, asks an educated teacher named Grant to help Jefferson to die like a man instead of a hog. Throughout this novel, Grant deals with a lot of responsibilities that’s being thrown at him such as helping Jefferson. A Lesson Before Dying has a universal theme of obligation because it is seen throughout the novel as it relates to Grant being forced to do things for the sake of others.…show more content…
For example, “He go’n do it, You go’n do it.” Grant’s aunt said.(14). This is indicating that Grant’s aunt is making Grant responsible to make Jefferson die as a man instead of a hog because Grant’s aunt didn’t want Miss Emma to see a hog to die, but rather she wants to see a man die. Another example of Grant being forced to help Jefferson was,“And I wished they had somebody else we could turn to.”(79). This is showing that Miss Emma is making Grant responsible for visiting Jefferson because she’s too sick to go visit Jefferson and Grant’s aunt also wants Grant to visit Jefferson, putting all the responsibilities to him which shows that Grant is obligated to do things for other’s
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