A Lesson Before Dying By Grant Wiggins Essay

1673 Words Jul 22nd, 2015 7 Pages
Racism comes in various forms; however, all forms of racism are the same. They are all stereotypical statements about another race other than the speaker. People also use racism to make their race seem superior when compared to others that are different ethnicity. In the novel, A Lesson Before Dying, many white citizens in Grant Wiggins’ small Cajun hometown use racism to make African American people seem inferior to white people. In A Lesson Before Dying, there is a plethora of situations where Ernest Gains reveals that racism is an oppressive force. As the reader begins the novel, the reader could tell that racism is an oppressive force. A perfect example of how racism is an oppressive force is when Jefferson’s lawyer tries to defend Jefferson in court. Although the lawyer is defending Jefferson, the lawyer is saying that Jefferson “is a thing that acts on command. A thing to hold the handle of a plow, a thing to load your bales of cotton, a thing to dig your ditches, to chop your wood, to pull your corn” (7-8). This example shows that racism is an oppressive force in numerous ways. First, the lawyer calls Jefferson a thing. The lawyer doesn’t even think of him as person, Jefferson is just a tool people use. Secondly, the lawyer is degrading Jefferson by saying “a thing that acts on command” (7). This is saying that Jefferson is an idiotic tool that can’t act on his own without a “master.” Although this is the lawyer’s strategy to get the jury to convict Jefferson…

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