Reflection On A Lesson Before Dying

1060 Words5 Pages
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 family members and old friends. Whenever he did, he talked to them in a rude and condescending manner. As we learn later in the book, he does this because his perspective on life has changed drastically. The most prominent example of this is on page 130, when Jefferson he tells Grant, “Manners is for the living” and,“Food for the living, too.” This shows us that he sees important values as things for the people that have a shot at life, not for those with little chance. This behavior leads him to become a more introverted and mean-spirited person, making him not want to have relationships with anyone in his final weeks. This interaction, however, was a sign of Jefferson finally warming up to Grant and having a change of heart. Near the
Open Document