Justice In Faulkner's A Lesson Before Dying

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In A Lesson Before Dying,an African American man is wrongly convicted of murder. Jefferson's attorney completely dehumanizes Jefferson in order to use reverse psychology on the jury. This was unnecessary because during the 1940’s people of color were never declared innocent even if they were. Basically if you were black no justice would be served. Furthermore, the attorney makes it clear that Jefferson is no where close to being a man and therefore shouldn’t be killed. His attorney states,
“ Gentleman of the jury, be merciful. For God’s sake, be merciful. He is innocent of all charges brought against him. But let us say he was not. Let us for a moment say he was not. What justice would there be to take his life? Justice gentleman? Why,
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Jefferson seems to take the comment about him being a hog to heart, as he begins to act like one. Jefferson refuses to talk to anyone and refuses to eat despite his nannan bringing him his favorite foods. At a certain point it seems as the thought of being called a hog has consumed Jefferson as he asks both Grant and his godmother (Miss Emma) for some corn. In Bayonne, “the towns major industries were a cement plant, a sawmill, and a slaughterhouse, mostly for hogs (25).” This is why Jefferson believed that they were just fattening him up to kill him later. In addition, Jefferson felt completely dehumanized and worthless because he knew that no one cared because slaughtering was common in the South. Chapter 11 is frustrating because when Grant visits and bring Jefferson food, Jefferson kneels down on the floor and puts his head inside the bag and starts eating with no hands therefore proving the attorney and the white stereotype of blacks being animals. Not only does he eat like a hog, but he began to dissociate himself by his use of grammar. It is not the fact that Jefferson will be killed soon, but the fact that he is called a hog is what truly angers and upsets

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