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A Lesson Before Dying
Transcript of A Lesson Before Dying
Overall, Jefferson must learn to see the strengths of himself, and not his flaws that society enforced upon him because he must learn to love himself before loving someone else, he must take one last stand against the white people by showing that he has pride before he dies, and because he needs to represent his community by not going down without a fight.
-Self judgement is a vital importance to one's mental and physical health
Jefferson must learn how important it is to die as a man and not as a hog because in order to truly love someone else, he must first learn to love himself, it is his last chance to stand up against the discrimination he has been fighting against all his life, and that he is a symbol of hope for both his family and the black community.
Symbol of Hope
A black man being set free in Louisiana in the 1950’s for a crime was extremely rare
Jefferson is a symbol of hope for both his family, and his community
"Don't be a damned fool. I am superior to you. I am superior to any man blacker than me." (39)
If Jefferson lets himself believe that he is worthless, the black community will have no chance of standing up against society’s unjust rules.
“I don’t want them to kill no hog…I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet.”(12)
The importance of Jefferson realizing his self worth gives him the power to bring justice forth to his people by dying with pride, not as an animal
Jefferson is told all his life that he is a worthless human being simply because of his skin colour
"Look at the shape of this skull, this face as flat as the palm of my hand—look deeply into those eyes. Do you see a modicum of intelligence?" (13)
if one cannot see the positives traits of oneself, it is impossible to see those of someone else
Once Jefferson accepts who he is, he will be able to represent pride in his community, as well as showing the American system that no matter how poorly his people are treated, they will not back down without a fight.
There is nothing more satisfying than completing your life’s purpose before you die
“You’ll see that it’ll take more than five and a half months to wipe away; scrape away the blanket of ignorance that has been plastered and replastered over those brains in the past three hundred years. You’ll see.”
“We all stood jammed together, no more than six, eight feet away from that chair. We all had each other to lean on. When Vincent asked him if he had any last words, he look at the preacher and said, ‘Tell nannan I walked.’ And straight he walked, Grant Wiggins. Straight he walked. I’m a witness. Straight he walked.”(254)
Loving the trait that other people hate is the most effective way to fight back.
The Importance Of Jefferson's
Lesson Before Dying
By: Cynthia Yuan
-Society affects the way we think about ourselves more than necessary
-The story is told though Grant Wiggins, a friend of Jefferson’s who’s goal is to let Jefferson die with pride
Compare now to the 1950’s, what makes a human ideal?
In what ways does loving yourself help you love others, and how does loving others help you love yourself?