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A Lesson Before Dying Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Mohamed98
Words 1107
Pages 5
"A Lesson Before Dying" is a fantastic novel written by Ernest J. Gaines. Grant Wiggins, Jefferson, and Paul are three characters from the novel that benefited, embodied, and understood the most important lesson before dying. The most important lesson and message before dying was that each of us has been created by God with potential to be great, and to help others reach greatness.

Grant Wiggins is a prime example of the most important lesson before dying. He attempted to teach Jefferson to be a man and not a "hog" as the public defender had called him during the trial. Jefferson's godmother "wants [Grant] to visit [Jefferson] and make him know-- prove to these white men-- that he's not a hog, that he's a man. (Gaines 31) Grant accepts the challenge firstly, to prove the white men that were betting against him wrong and show them that Jefferson can and will transform into a man for the sake of black people in the South. However, he also accepts the challenge in order for Jefferson to be someone he (Grant) in the future would look up to because he is the only person who has the power now to stand up to the white people in the South. Also, Grant Wiggins is trying to expose and introduce Jefferson's greatness by calling him a hero. Grant begins to explain to Jefferson the "'A hero is someone who does something for other people. He does something that other men don’t and can't do. He is different from other men. He is above other men. No matter who those other men are, the hero, no matter who he is, is above them'" (Gaines 191). During this section of the novel Grant wants Jefferson "'to show [the white people] the difference between what you think you are and what you can be'" (Gaines 191). This is a very powerful quote that Grant has said to Jefferson and he wants him to understand it. Grant is continuously attempting to not only proving to Jefferson that he...

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