A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines Essay examples

926 Words Apr 18th, 2016 4 Pages
Murder resolved by Execution: Justice?
Death is a phenomena defined as the end of living. It is the reflection of one’s life, its meaning and worth. In the novel, A Lesson Before Dying, the author, Ernest J. Gaines, uses symbolism to weave the theme and the story. Such technique add depth and meaning to the story. The story involves a twenty one year old protagonist with a bit of mental disability, Jefferson, who is involved in an unfortunate crime that has led himself in a sentencing to death. The hog, notebook and chair are the few symbols that represented most of the events in Jefferson’s reckoning days. The story revolves around his trial and final days, which is when the symbolic figures are introduced.
Jefferson is compared to a hog by the people in the story. Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this (Gaines 8). As the attorney degrades Jefferson in front of the city, his speech still had profound effects on the people who listened. White people, which is mostly consist of the jury, have belittled Jefferson besides his poor mentality, but also because of the color of his skin. According to the white lawyer, Jefferson’s lack of intelligence and inability to plan a murder and a robbery have their origins in biology and not in the socioeconomic conditions in a Jim Crowe society with its philosophy of interposition and nullification (Thompson 142).This proves the abhorrent action done by Jefferson depicting a legitimate hog. Several people, whites…

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