A Lesson Before Dying Essay

A Lesson Before Dying Essay-33
He also explains that, because of this, Jefferson’s response to death will be important to the whole Black community.

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Terrified and overwhelmed, Jefferson tried to calm himself down by drinking a little of the store’s whiskey and then, realizing he would have to flee, took some money from an open cash register even though he recognized this was morally wrong.

Two white men then discovered him trying to leave the store and he was arrested.

After Grant tries to persuade him to eat the food Miss Emma has sent, Jefferson crawls around his cell pretending to eat like a hog.

However, though Jefferson is standoffish and refuses to engage with Grant, Grant still remains with him for the whole allotted hour so as not to let the racist sheriff know how badly his efforts are going.

In his diary entries, the reader also learns that he is far more introspective, articulate, and aware than had been previously suggested.

The novel ends with Grant in his schoolroom, his students all kneeling in prayer at the moment Jefferson is to be executed.

The prosecuting attorney’s spin on this was that Jefferson arrived fully intending to rob the store and kill the owner and that, once this was complete, he drank the whiskey to celebrate his crimes.

The defense attorney countered this by saying that Jefferson was mentally incapable of planning such a crime.

However, when they visit him, they find him taciturn and withdrawn, and he remains this way for several more visits.

Things get worse when Grant goes to see Jefferson on his own.


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