A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines Essay

1454 Words Nov 24th, 2014 6 Pages
In the 1940s segregation between the white and black communities was strong. Often times African Americans would suffer the ridicule of those who were prejudice within the white community. The plot of A Lesson Before Dying takes the reader through the life of young Jefferson; from the time he is tried for the murder of a white man to his last moments at his execution. After being called a hog, Jefferson took on this animal rule, upsetting the women who raised him, Miss Emma, his godmother. Emma requested the help of the quarter’s self-conflicted teacher Grant Wiggins, to find a way for Jefferson see the man he is. Grant is already struggling to find his place within the plantation and this task pushes him further into his own detached world. Ernest J. Gaines, the author of A Lesson Before Dying, created a life of alienation and isolation for Grant; he is removed from the rest of his community because of his lack of faith in a heaven, his formal education, and his need to break the cycle of the common black man.

In a community that revolves around religion Grant Wiggins stands alone. While attending the university Grant had lost time for religion and slowly lost his faith. He is now one of few on the plantation that is not religious and does not attended church on Sundays with the rest of the community. “Now on Sunday, as I sat at the table, trying to do my work, I could hear them singing in the church. It seemed I had listened to this singing and…

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