Traits of a Hero Ernest Gaines book A Lesson Before Dying is about the ways in which the incarcerated may find a release even in the end. Gaines’s book surpasses its story to show the whole history of black suppression in the south. When Jefferson, a young black man is a innocent bystander to a shoot out which leaves three dead. He is convicted and sentenced to death by a white judge and jury. Grant Wiggins the local plantation schoolteacher is enlisted to help Jefferson in the short time before his death. Grant would be considered a hero by his own definition in the book for his self sacrifices for Jefferson.
Grant Wiggins, offers empathy and friendship, while teaching Jefferson about life and Grant learns a lesson for himself. Jefferson a poorly educated black man in Louisiana in the 1940’s finds himself in the wrong place. After being picked up and given a ride by his friends who seem to be intoxicated, they stop at the local general store. When the storekeeper refuses to give them wine the men have a confrontation and shoot out, leaving them all dead except Jefferson. Jefferson ends up being unfairly convicted and sentenced to die for murder in the first degree. During the sentencing Jefferson’s attorney expecting to lesson the sentence refers to Jefferson as a hog.
This deeply disturbs Jefferson’s godmother and Jefferson himself. Jefferson’s godmother recruits Grant Wiggins the plantation schoolteacher to help Jefferson to die with dignity. Grant agrees to talk to Jefferson after some apprehension. His job is to establish that Jefferson is not a hog, but a human being.
... people. Major Characters: Jefferson, black boy who is accused of a crime and sentenced to death; Grant Wiggins, teacher sent to help Jefferson. After he went ... was black, they assumed he did it. Grant Wiggins is told to go up to the jail and convince Jefferson that he is a man ... made him realize that he was as much a man as any other man; then what? He's still going to die ...
The mission is tough for the teacher because he seams to be unsecure about his own feeling’s of what a man is. Grant seems to have a chip on his shoulders. He says in the book there are only three choices black men have: “to die violently’, to be “brought down to the level of beasts,’ or “to run and run.’ Grant has a conflict in the book with the Reverend, Reverend Ambos e. It seams that in this book which is full of religious symbolism the main character doesn’t believe in god. Grant seams to be mad at religious teachings. His refusal to attend church seems to hurt his aunt and infuriates Reverend Ambrose, whose religion Grant first says is a “sham’.
Grant says at the end of the book that the Reverend “is braver than I,’ and he has his pupils pray before Jefferson’s death. Grant offers friendship, a window to the world through a radio, and a means of coping with a notebook to record his thoughts. A typical hero is often a man that is of divine ancestry. A hero or heroine can be found in many different forms. There are certain characteristics that make up a hero or a heroine. Some of those characteristics are someone who is endowed with great courage, loyalty, obedience, cleverness, strength and someone who is noted for special achievement in a particular field.
Depending on the book, or the character, a hero or heroine could show one heroic characteristics or more and still be considered a hero. Grant Wiggins can be considered a hero because of his own definition, “A hero does for others. He would do anything for people he loves, because he knows it would make their lives better.’ (Page 191) Grant also tells him that he cannot be a hero because, “I want to run away. I want to live for myself and for my woman and for nobody else.’ (Page 191) But this is not true after his growth throughout the book.
At one point in the book Grant gets into a fistfight for defending Jefferson in a bar. One interesting thing is that Grant never mentions to Jefferson that this happens, this shows that he did it for himself. Grant and Jefferson forge an understanding when they both come to understand the simplicity of resisting and defying their destinies. From the murder that starts this novel to the judicial murder at the end, death is a constantly mentioned in A Lesson Before Dying. With all these unpleasant happenings in the book, something good surfaces, Grant Wiggins a schoolteacher comforts and helps Jefferson in the time before his death. The book shows how heroism can happen by just helping someone in his time of need.
... unfaithful wife. Despite the many differences between the book and the movie, I believe that the one ... herself, or that one man just wasn’t enough for her. In the book, she tells Lennie “ ... close to those same standards. After reading the book, then watchisng the movie, I saw some major ... The book, Of Mice and Men, is one that invokes thought in the reader. Although the book is well written, ...
Grant is a hero because of his own definition. Grant goes out of his way to help Jefferson and Jefferson’s godmother to re endow Jefferson sense of being a man. Bibliography WORKS S CITED ABC Online. Oprah Book Club. 22 September 1997. Real Books.
com. Reviews. 19 April 1998. Random House. Vintage Books.
Biography. Random House. Vintage Books. Lesson. Gaines, Ernest J. A Lesson Before Dying.
New York: Random House, 1933.