A Lesson Before Dying was set during the clip of segregation. During this clip black people were slaves and white people had all the power. It ne’er crossed a black adult males mind that he could of all time be considered a hero. The two chief characters. Jefferson and Grant. are holding problem understanding how to be work forces. and that the simple Acts of the Apostless of kindness they perform can do them heroes. Before their gallantry can be discussed. it is of import to understand how the relationship between those two work forces began. Jefferson is a immature black adult male who was wrongfully convicted of robbery and slaying of a white adult male in a spirits shop shoot- out. His attorney told the jury he was excessively stupid to hold committed a slaying and that he was nil more so a “hog. ” Nevertheless. Jefferson was sentenced to decease by burning.
The Hero Within
He takes the “hog” remark to bosom and no longer seems to care about anything or anyone around him. Jefferson’s godmother. Miss Emma. does non desire him to decease thought he is a pig. She wants him to decease a adult male with self-respect. Therefore. she seeks the aid of Grant Wiggins. who she asks to see Jefferson. and learn him how to be a adult male before he dies. Unfortunately. Grant is confused about his ain life and what a adult male is supposed to be. Grant is a adult male who left his hometown to foster his instruction at a university.
He resents his life because he came back and became a instructor. but he does non believe he is doing a difference with his pupils or people in his community because of the segregation that is still traveling on. He wants to run away from his jobs. Even though he does non believe he could do a difference. he still does Miss Emma the favour of traveling to see Jefferson. While sing Jefferson. Grant becomes his close friend. He realizes why Jefferson feels he is a pig and why Miss Emma wants him to decease a adult male. Grants ends up being the lone individual Jefferson will open up to. so he tells Jefferson to give something back to his godmother and go a hero for her and their full community. Rivera 2
With their background understood. now it is possible to understand why Grant does non see himself a hero. but believes Jefferson can go one. Allow defines a hero as. “Someone who does something for other people. He does something that other work forces can’t and won’t do. He is different from other work forces. He is above other work forces. No affair who those other work forces are. the hero. no affair who he is. is above them. A hero does for others. He would make anything for people he loves. because he knows it would do their lives better. ” Grant feels he does non run into the definition of a hero because he has ever done what everyone has expected of him. by making nil but Teach.
He feels he has done nil to turn out his self-respect or love for anyone. Allow hates his life and wants to populate for himself. his adult females and cipher else. He has ne’er decided to alter his life. The ground Grant believes Jefferson can and will go a hero is because he can give his godmother the gift of standing and walking to the electric chair and decease a adult male. Jefferson can turn out to the white work forces that he is non merely another black adult male and he is non a pig. He can turn out that he has self-respect. a bosom and love for his godmother and his people.
In the terminal. both Grant and Jefferson are heroes. Allow performs a random act of kindness for Miss Emma and Jefferson faces his destiny by walking to the electric chair a adult male. They both have done things for others and have done things other work forces “can’t and won’t do. ” They are both above other work forces and hold proven that they have self-respect. a bosom and love for others. Allow Teachs Jefferson how to decease a adult male and at the same clip learns to go a adult male himself.