A_lesson_before_dying_thesis - Raquel Rullo Professor...

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Raquel RulloProfessor GoldsteinCMP 120April 2020In “ A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines, published in 1993, the author maintains the themes of racism, self-worth, and dignity. The author supports these ideasby telling a story of a man, named Jefferson, who is falsely imprisoned due to the racist biasm of jurors. Due to the inhumane treatment he endures, he loses his self-identity. A teacher named Grant must help him to regain his self-concept so that he may die a man. Grant regularly goes to the prison to meet with Jefferson so that he may die knowing he is more than just an animal being slaughtered. After months of visiting Jefferson, the reader can see an enormous change in Jefferson's behavior. He understands that he must set an example for the white people that blacks are humans too. Jefferson goes against the ways in which whites have labeled him through dying a dignified man who understands the worth of his life. The ways in which white racists treat blacks strips them of their ability to self identify. White people had a grasp on every black man's life. By telling blacks that they are less than white people, they have integrated in their minds that they are worthless and do not deserve the same things in life as whites. Grant is an educated black man

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