Summary: A Lesson Before Dying

890 Words 4 Pages
Title It is not uncommon to hear about the heroes of the nation or the world, but many times, people look at these heroes at from a racial side. One can often hear about how certain figures transformed society, and how they look at a certain race, because of their feats. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, “Mr. Joe Louis, Help Me” by Michael Zeitler and “Why Beyoncé Speaks for a Generation” by Henry Knight reveal a truth about the past and current community as it stands. As a society, people continually rely on those who have achieved more than them to seek pride and affirmation in their ethnicity. A Lesson Before Dying encompasses many messages and themes, but race is a glaring issue that is arduous to ignore, and it is evident that Gaines observed this impact of successful people and how the difference it made on the community. In the novel, prejudice against African Americans is prevalent and to alleviate the frustration of the thoughtless ignorance of others, community members looked to sports …show more content…
Zeitler understands how those of sport culture are often revered and honored, he announces to his audience that those of a generation often associate their lives to those of major sports heroes, such as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Muhammad Ali. This article brings to light how athletes are not only athletes, they are role models, and they are often scrutinized and judged for every action, because they represent their race. Zeitler gives a name to these idols, “They are exemplum…, survival stories about keeping one's dignity in a world determined to prove once and for all that such dignity is impossible” (Zeitler 1). Every generation has multitudes of exemplum and these exemplum show the weakness and strength of the human psyche. Humans need to affirm their self worth using people who have a similarity to them, in this case, that similarity is

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