The Importance Of Characters In A Lesson Before Dying

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Lao Tzu once said, “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn 't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn 't need others ' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” Ernest J. Gaines novel, A Lesson Before Dying reveals many significant lessons that any human being can learn from. That being said, the most important lesson one should learn before dying is that life is worth more than anyone 's opinion, so prove them wrong. This lesson is showcased through three of Gaines dynamic characters, throughout the course of the novel.
The protagonist, Grant Wiggins, clearly learns the importance of his teaching although he faced the doubts of his former teacher. To begin, Grant’s old teacher,
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Antoine specifically says, “Forget it. Just go on and be the nigger you were born to be […] It doesn 't matter anymore, just do the best you can. But it won 't matter” (Gaines 65-66). Antoine is trying to put his pessimistic views onto Grant about what he thinks teaching can do. This is all a result of his own experiences, and in dying faith, he is trying to tell Grant he will not make a difference in his line of work. This attitude is bestowed upon Grant for much of the novel. However, Grant proves Antoine wrong when he meets Jefferson. Grant’s thoughts on teaching is redeemed through Jefferson, who shows his teaching was not in vain and it worked. In a notebook, Jefferson writes what Grant’s teaching has done for him, saying, “mr wigin an nobody aint never been that good to me an make me think im sombody” …show more content…
A Lesson Before Dying beautifully illustrates this. The novel has many lessons one should learn before dying, including the lesson: life is worth more than anyone 's opinion, so prove them wrong. This lesson is exquisitely displayed through the ever evolving characters of Grant Wiggins, Paul, and Jefferson. Overall, it is important for everyone to know and honour their self worth to the grave. No ones opinion on another person should affect how they think of themselves in a negative

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