Essay on Symbolism Of A Lesson Before Dying

1430 Words Feb 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Symbolism in A Lesson Before Dying is important in understanding the lives of the African Americans like Grant and Jefferson in this story. Jefferson’s diary is one of the symbols in this story. The diary represents Jefferson’s struggles in life and the treatment that he endures every day. Jefferson has never had a wonderful life, always treated like he was nothing, but when he is in jail he experiences love and people who care about him. He tells the story of who he is and being in jail gives him time for him to learn who he is, not the white’s perspective of him. The reader can see the growth of Jefferson as a man in the diary because he learns new things every day and learns to have hope and to not be scared and submissive to the white people. Another symbol that is seen in the story is the electric chair. The electric chair symbolizes the African Americans pain and suffering that they have endured in this time period. Grant and many other African Americans are scared of the electric chair because they know that the whites will kill someone and use violence for no apparent reason in order to be superior to the other races and instill fear in them. Jefferson is scared of the electric chair because he realizes that when he sees that horrible contraption, he will die. However, Jefferson is not afraid of the electric chair anymore, which also shows the growth of Jefferson that he will not be what the White’s want him to be, scared and inferior. He stands up to the White’s…

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