A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines Essay

1837 Words Dec 14th, 2015 8 Pages
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines takes place in the 1940’s, a time period of segregation. This was a time when blacks were often at fault for a crime they did not commit, such as what transpired in this book. A man named Jefferson was convicted of a crime he did not commit and was insulted during court. Now his family, friends, and even Jefferson himself were trying to prove the white community wrong about their beliefs that a black man is unequal and lacks dignity for both Jefferson and the black community. Not only was Jefferson going through a period of suffering on death row, but others, like Grant Wiggins and Miss Emma, were also facing their struggles as they would attempt to disprove those against them and redeem themselves through knowledge, teaching, and learning. Miss Emma, Jefferson’s godmother, was near the end of her time and had one last wish she would like fulfilled. Jefferson went to court after being accused of a crime. What was stated in court about Jefferson was, “What justice would there be to take this life? Justice gentlemen? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this.” (Gaines 8). This is where the majority of Miss Emma’s sufferings throughout the novel came from. She was upset about this comment herself, however, she was more concerned about how Jefferson felt after hearing it. Miss Emma said, “I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet” (Gaines 13). Miss Emma was worried due to the fact that she…

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