Similarities Between Fences And A Lesson Before Dying

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The two novels; A Lesson Before Dying, Devil in a Blue Dress, and the play, Fences, all share similar lessons and themes. A Lesson Before Dying is about a young, African American man, Jefferson, who is falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the late 1940s. Jefferson 's aunt and godmother ask Grant Wiggins, the town’s teacher, to give Jefferson lessons and knowledge before he dies. Devil In a Blue Dress takes place in the late 1940s, and is about an African American man, and war veteran, named Easy Rawlins. In the novel, Easy recently lost his job and is looking for a way to pay his mortgage. A white man walks into the bar that Easy frequents, and offers him money to find a girl named Daphne Monet. Fences takes place in Pittsburgh …show more content…
After Jefferson was called a hog, Miss Emma, Jefferson’s godmother, feels as though it is her responsibility to turn Jefferson into a man. “I don 't want them to kill no hog...I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet.” (A Lesson Before Dying 13). Miss Emma wants Jefferson to die with dignity, so she and Grant’s aunt, Tante Lou, ask Grant to assist them in turning Jefferson into a man. Grant feels responsibility towards his aunt, to complete this task. Tante Lou basically raised Grant, so he feels like he owes it to her and Miss Emma to work with Jefferson. Responsibility is also evident in Devil in a Blue Dress. Easy feels as though it is his responsibility to be independent and self-sufficient. He needs to support himself, and his prized possession, which is his home. “But that house meant more to me than any women I ever knew. I loved her and I was jealous of her and if the bank sent the county marshal to take her from me I might have come at him with a rifle rather than to give her up.” (Devil in a Blue Dress 56). He is responsible for paying the mortgage on his home, and Easy will do whatever he can do to do so. Furthermore, the moral lesson of responsibility is also found in the play Fences. Troy 's feels responsibility towards providing for his family. He wants to make sure that his family always has a roof over their heads, food, and clothes because his father did not always …show more content…
The two novels and play all take place around the same time period, which was a difficult time for African- Americans. A Lesson Before Dying takes place in the deep south, where the Jim Crow laws were in place, making segregation very prominent. African-Americans did not have a voice or the same opportunities as whites. Grant says, “I’m the teacher...and I teach what the white folks around here tell me to teach-reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. They never told me how to keep a black boy out of a liquor store.” (A Lesson Before Dying 13). Grant wishes he could teach his students how to avoid and protect themselves from racism, however it is nearly impossible in the deep south. In the 1940s in California, where Devil in a Blue Dress takes place, segregation and violence between African-Americans and whites were at its highest. Racism is a recurring theme in Devil in a Blue Dress. For example, when the police stereotype Easy as violent because of his race and try to use his race to arrest him. Easy believes that the police ignore crime in the African-American communities and treat it as nothing, unless a white person is the victim.“The papers hardly ever even reported a colored murder. And when they did it was way in the back pages.” (Devil in a Blue Dress 208). Fences takes place in the time period after World War II, but just before the Civil Rights Movement. Just as in

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