Themes In A Lesson Before Dying

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In the novel, “A Lesson Before Dying”, by Ernest J. Gaines, the protagonist, Grant Wiggins, is an African-American elementary school teacher in a rural Louisiana plantation. The narrator begins by explaining that a young black man, Jefferson, is caught in the middle of a shootout in a liquor store, and as the only survivor is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. When Jeffersons lawyer calls him a “hog,” he begins to consider himself powerless in the white-dominated society and begins to act differently now that he has accepted his death. Grant is given the seemingly impossible task to turn Jefferson who is now convicted murder into a man before his execution date. Throughout the novel, both Grant Wiggins and Jefferson face internal struggles. Jefferson struggles to cope with his death while Grant struggles to find his identity in the midst of a segregated, racist community. Throughout the novel, the theme of love heavily influences both of these men 's struggles. In the first chapter of “A lesson before Dying” we see Miss Emma, a lifelong friend of Grants aunt, say “I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet.” after Jefferson 's lawyer called him a “hog” trying to persuade the the jury that he was innocent. We continue to see Miss Emma 's love for Jefferson throughout the book. Another example of love seen in the early chapters of the novels is when we see Tante Lou, Miss Emma, and Grant arrive at the Pichot plantation where Miss Emma asks Pichot to
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