A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines Essay

1929 Words Nov 13th, 2015 8 Pages
Although imprisonment is most commonly used to describe a person that is incarcerated, the term is also used when someone feels restricted and trapped in an emotional environment they cannot escape from. Ernest J Gaines’ novel, A Lesson Before Dying exemplifies a story in which imprisonment is a pervasive struggle throughout the lives of Grant and Jefferson. Grant and Jefferson, although never close, come from Black American families. These men come together and form a strong bond with one another when they spend a great deal of time together and develop love for each other. Their close relationship results in Grant willingly completing the task he initially is forced to do. The black heritage that Grant and the people in his community possess result in people prejudging and assuming the worst in them. The lack of change in his life has resulted in Grant feeling emotionally imprisoned because of his job and community, his relationship with Vivian, and his race.
Living in the same community and having the same job all one’s life can be hard, especially when a lack of change is present. Grant wishes that there could be more opportunities in his life, rather than just being a teacher, for this is the most esteemed job a person of his race could have. Although being a teacher is the only real job he has ever had, he has never felt a love for it. Grant recognizes that, “[Vivian] [is] right; [he] [is] [not] happy. [He] [has] heard the same carols all [his] life, [saw] the same…

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