Themes In A Lesson Before Dying

880 Words4 Pages

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines is a novel based off the trials of being an African American in the South in the 1940s. The novel’s main conflict involves a young African American man, Jefferson, who is wrongfully accused of murdering and robbing a liquor store. Throughout the novel love is abundant and it comes in many forms and is a constant occurrence in the novel. The themes of love are teacher-to-student love, tough love, and passionate love. A teacher-to-student love is present throughout the novel A Lesson Before Dying. A teacher-to-student love is the type of love where the teacher is guides his or her students to reach the best of their abilities, to see them succeed. Grant Wiggins is an elementary school teacher for …show more content…

In working class areas, like Bayonne, tough love is what gets people ready for life will be like. People do not sugar-coat it, or their children will not survive. Grant shows tough love to his students at the school and to Jefferson because he wants them to achieve their potential before it is too late. Tante Lou expresses tough love throughout the entire novel to Grant. Tante Lou guilts Grant into helping Miss Emma with Jefferson. The reader also sees that Tante Lou is the women in charge because a few instances in the novel, Grant is put in his place by Tante Lou. Tante Lou corrects Grant in instances when he gets selfish and does not want to go visit Jefferson. Tante Lou shows that she cares about Grant, but she does through stern looks and guilt tripping him into doing things for her. Rev. Ambrose shows tough love to Jefferson and Grant. Rev. Ambrose knows Grant is a good person, but Grant is blinded by his own selfishness as seen in the end of the novel, when he does not want to tell Jefferson about salvation. Grant does not want to lie to Jefferson, but Rev. Ambrose calls Grant out. Rev. Ambrose is tough on Jefferson as well, because in the beginning of the novel, Jefferson seemed to give up hope. Rev. Ambrose in a way told him to buck up and be a man, but to also use God’s guidance. Rev. Ambrose used tough love to get his message across to Jefferson,

Open Document