A lesson before dying symbols
A Lesson Before Dying (SparkNotes Literature Guide) by Ernest J. GainesBorn to a sharecropping family, Ernest Gaines was picking cotton in the fields by age nine and only attended school five or six months a year. When he was fifteen, he moved to California to join his mother who had relocated during World War II, and began writing. He attended San Francisco State University, served in the army, and won a writing fellowship to Stanford University. Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Order of Arts and Letters as a Chevalier. He and his wife split their time between Louisiana and San Francisco.
Symbolism At Its Best – A Lesson before dying Essay
The novel opens with a courtroom scene, as the narrator — later identified as Grant Wiggins, a black teacher at the local plantation school — recounts the trial of Jefferson, a twenty-one-year-old uneducated black man accused of robbery and murder. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Jefferson is innocent, despite the circumstantial evidence that places him at the scene of the crime. First, we hear Jefferson's story, as presented by 1 the narrator of the novel. Then, we hear the story from the perspectives of 2 the prosecuting attorney and that of 3 Jefferson's court-appointed defense attorney. As part of his so-called defense strategy, Jefferson's attorney refers to his client as "it" and contends that this "thing" is incapable of knowing right from wrong and lacks the intelligence to have planned the robbery.
By writing down his thoughts, Jefferson reflects upon his position in an unjust world and begins to think seriously about his life. The notebook also symbolizes the reciprocal friendship between Grant and Jefferson. Grant gives Jefferson the notebook, symbolizing his desire to teach Jefferson and help Jefferson teach himself. Jefferson writes in the notebook as if writing a letter to Grant, which suggests that Jefferson looks to Grant for guidance even when alone in his cell. When it arrives in a large black truck, the chair in which Jefferson must die evokes many different reactions from people in the town. The truck drives slowly through the town, and everyone comes out to see it. Some fear the chair.
An example of the support of the black community is shown
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The meaning is clarified by giving the true representation in a casual way. Symbolism is the voice of unspoken feeling. She feels this is the best way for her to show her love to him. Grant lies to Miss Emma about the visit he takes on his own to visit Jefferson. Jefferson shows Grant how a hog would eat, getting down on his hands and knees, putting his head in the bag, and even snorting like a hog 83; ch. Instead of telling Miss Emma exactly what happened, Grant was very general in his description of the visit ; ch.