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Are There Any Heroes In A Lesson Before Dying?

648 words - 3 pages

Are there any heroes in A Lesson Before Dying?

Grant – Is able to make Jefferson die a man and not a hog

Jefferson – He is able to believe in himself “he was the strongest man in that crowded room”

Paul – Managed to go against the stereotypes of the time and become friends with Grant “Allow me to be your friend”

Contention: That there are 3 main heroes in A Lesson Before Dying and each are a different type of hero.

The text A Lesson Before Dying is set in Southern America and is based around racism to the African-Americans who live there. In the text A Lesson Before Dying there are many portrayals of heroes. Throughout the text each hero has a connection to the other heroes and helps them with their problems. The three main heroes in the text are Grant, Jefferson and Paul

Grant, the protagonist ...view middle of the document...

This makes Grant a hero because he realises he change peoples opinions and help the black population and not run away from his problems.

Jefferson is one the main protagonists in Ernest Gaines’s novel. In the first chapter of the novel Jefferson is called a “hog” by his lawyer and he believes this until Grant persuaded him to see he was a real person. As the novel progresses we see Jefferson write down his thoughts on a writing pad, proving he is a real human with real thoughts. At the end of the novel Jefferson is about to be put in the electric chair and is not scared at all showing he is a hero as he shows no fear when he knows he’s going to die. When Jefferson dies Paul tells Grant, who wasn’t in the room when Jefferson died “he was the strongest man in that crowded room” This proves that Jefferson was a hero because he faced his fears head on, without being scared.

Paul is a minor character in A Lesson Before Dying. He is in very few chapters and says very little, but what he does say makes him a hero. Paul is the only white character who feels sympathy with the black people and is nice to them. At the end of the novel he is the only white character to shake hands with a black person saying “Allow me to be your friend”. This makes Paul a hero because he was able to overcome racial segregation and become friends with a black person.

In conclusion we can see how all three characters are a different type of hero in the novel A Lesson Before Dying. Grant is a hero because he learnt to face his problems head on and not run away from them, Jefferson is a hero because he wasn’t scared in his darkest hour and Paul is a hero because he overcame racial segregation to become Grant’s friend.

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