A Lesson Before Dying Jefferson, Grant, And Paul Essay

1008 Words Jul 25th, 2015 5 Pages
Dignity is a quality that one learns that they are worthy of respect and honor. When people are treated like animals all their life, they tend to believe until they learn they have worth. In the novel, A Lesson Before Dying Jefferson, Grant, and Paul are characters who learn about dignity, self-worth and the hope for equality throughout Jefferson’s sentence and execution. Jefferson’s death sentence allows him to accept his own self-worth and helps him realize his value as a human; it also transforms Grant’s cynicism into hope for a better future where he and his community are treated equally. Paul symbolizes a hope for the black community that white people can be respectful, kind and accepting. Jefferson was a young black man who grew up believing he was a not worthy of respect or kindness and did not know any different. All his life he understood that he and his black community were unworthy and did not have the right to be treated with fairness or equality. Jefferson’s thoughts and behavior reflected the way that the white community treated him. At the beginning of the story, Grant observes Jefferson’s animal like behavior, “He knelt down on the floor and put his head inside the bag and started eating, without using his hands. He even sounded like a hog” (Grains, 68). Once Jefferson starts to realize his worthiness he says, “... i cry cause you been so good to me mr wigin an nobody aint never been that good to me an make me think im sombody” (189). This…

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