Essay on A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines

1198 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
In A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, the idea that guidance is needed to help people who have falling in despair and they need to regain their sense of purpose. Chipping away at ignorance is needed so that the true potential of the individual is revealed. This ignorance is caused by the submission of the portion of society to a higher power who abuses said power. Grant Wiggins in the book A Lesson Before Dying, has started to lose his purpose of staying in his little town and teaching in the plantation school. The kids seem to have no progress with his teachings and even though he has gained some power through an education his social relationship with the whites has not changed. All the goals and dreams he had in mind when he decided to become a teacher start to seem more impossible to be accomplished with every passing day. Vivian, Grant’s girlfriend, is also a teacher who sees the importance of their careers and encourages Grant to keep putting all his effort in teaching the kids of the plantation. This starts to create an internal struggle about having to accept the responsibility of teaching the kids. Vivian states, “‘We’re teachers, and we have a commitment.’” Grant response by stating “‘You hit the nail on the head there, lady-commitment. Commitment to what-to live and die in this hellhole, when we can leave and live like other people?’” (Gaines 29). It is a characterization of what Grant says and what others respond to his actions. Grant is speaking to Vivian…

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