Exploartions of The Injustices of the World in A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

1327 Words Jan 31st, 2018 5 Pages
However, never has injustice been more prevalent in a society than during the pre-civil rights South. In his novel, A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines explores the injustice of society in Bayonne, Louisiana, in the 1940s. An uneducated young black man named Jefferson has been accused of murder and has been sentenced to death by electrocution. He is not even seen as a man by the “superior” whites, but rather as a hog. Upon the realization that Jefferson will die seen as a hog and nothing better than an animal, Jefferson’s godmother, Miss Emma, petitions the only educated black man in the quarter, Grant Wiggins, to “teach Jefferson to be a man.” While reluctant and frustrated at first, Grant eventually develops a deep connection with Jefferson, and their actions teach the people in the town a lesson about dignity and respect. However, not only blacks were affected by racial injustice. On the other side of the spectrum is a white deputy named Paul. Although he doesn’t face the negative side of injustice, he still is forever changed by his experiences. While Grant, Jefferson, and Paul, are different, one similarity they share is that racial injustice plays a powerful role in all their lives, and in the end, these men do all that they can to fight racial injustice: they win small victories through their actions such as standing up to the system and showing true courage.
One of the characters most heavily impacted…
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