"A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines
This paper reviews and analyzes the 1993 novel "A Lesson Before Dying" written by African-American author Ernest J. Gaines.
# 74675 | 1,090 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2006 |
Published on Oct 19, 2006 in African-American Studies (1870-1950) , Ethnic Studies (Conflict) , Literature (American) , English (Analysis)
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This paper discusses and details the plot while focusing on the main characters of Jefferson and Grant in Gaines' novel. The writer of this paper contends and explains why this particular novel, which deals with racism, injustice and the pain of life and death, should be required reading in schools across America. This paper examines the judicial system in 1940s America particularly as seen through the eyes of a falsely convicted African-American man. This paper explores the close bond between Jefferson and Grant as well as the author's underlying themes of injustice and prejudice as they relate to the rights of African-Americans in the early 20th century. The writer also discusses Gaines' clear message pertaining to the value of each and every human being, regardless of race.
From the Paper:"Another important aspect of this novel is the certainty of death. Everyone faces it - it is how he or she faces it that makes the difference. Gaines writes, "I don't know when I'm going to die, Jefferson. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe today. That's why I try to live as well as I can every day and not hurt people." Jefferson faces his death with dignity, which he learns in part from his interact with Grant. Critic Beavers notes, "Though Jefferson's death is certain, Grant's task -- which becomes Jefferson's legacy -- is to impart some of himself, to demonstrate to Jefferson a way to improvise upon a negative situation till he discovers dignity and purpose" (Beavers 31). Each man learns something valuable from the other, and that is another major point of the novel. Gaines is showing the reader they can learn from anyone, no matter how "insignificant" they may seem. Everyone has a lesson and everyone can be a pupil, no matter who they are or what they do in life."
Cite this Book Review:
"A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines (2006, October 19) Retrieved December 07, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/a-lesson-before-dying-by-ernest-j-gaines-74675/
""A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines" 19 October 2006. Web. 07 December. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/a-lesson-before-dying-by-ernest-j-gaines-74675/>