Choices Can Change Life Expository

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Everyone makes hundreds of choices everyday, and each of these choices can carry consequences that can be both good or bad. Sometimes, the decisions that a person makes, can change their life forever. People make tens of thousands of decisions every day that affect how their lives play out. No matter whether the decision is being made by a regular person, an actor, or even a character in a book, there is always some kind of consequence that reflects the choice made.

The events in the book A Lesson Before Dying can show just how much certain decisions can affect the everyday lives of people. This book is about a tough time during the 1940s, where racial discrimination was a problem worth noticing. In this book, different characters make decisions constantly, including one decision made by the main character that had the power to make or break the book. Decisions have the power to change someone’s life, because they set the storyline for that person’s life story and lead to other decisions that they make.

Decisions are constantly made by different characters that change their lives, and overall write the story line for books. In the story A Lesson Before Dying, the main character that goes by the name of Grant made a decision to visit Jefferson, in order to help him die as a man. Grant is a middle aged, african american teacher during the time of racial discrimination, when he is called upon the challenge of helping another black man that goes by the name of Jefferson. Jefferson, was wrongly accused of killing another white male, and called a ̈hog ̈ in the process. This happens in chapter one on pages 15-16 where Ernest J. Gaines states,”Gentlemen of the jury, be merciful. For God’s sake, be merciful. He is innocent of all charges brought against him. But let us say he was not. Let us for a moment say he was not. What justice would there be to take this life? Justice, gentlemen? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this.” (Gaines 15-16)

This quote shows the action that the lawyer takes to call Jefferson a hog in order to attempt to prove him innocent. The lawyer seems to try to use a type of reverse psychology to get the jury on his side, but instead puts a thought into Jeffersons head that will carry him until his last breath. By calling Jefferson a ̈hog ̈ he is basically calling him a filthy animal that everyone thought african americans were at that time. This is the step of the book that creates the attitude of Jefferson, and gives Grant the choice to make a decision to help him. Once Grant makes the decision to follow his aunt ́s wishes and see Jefferson, he opens up many new possibilities that are followed by many lessons. Grant learned lessons that had to do with religion, people, family, love, responsibilities, priorities and so much more throughout the book, just because he made that simple decision. Grant not only learned lessons, but because of his decision, he began to have a whole new look on life.

One example of this is the quote, on page 225 chapter 28, where Gaines writes ̈My eyes were closed before this moment, Jefferson. My eyes have been closed all my life ̈ (Gaines 225). This is a moment in the book that Grant learned how much Jefferson has taught him and how different he now looks at life just from simply making a decision. However, Grant wasn ́t the only one that was affected by this decision, it affected many other characters as well, one includes Jefferson. In the beginning of this book it was hard to imagine Grant ever being able to get through to Jefferson, but after he makes a simple decision this changes. In chapter 11, he makes the decision to go talk to and visit Jefferson alone, even though he is not fond of the idea. At this point in the book, he begins to make a break through and starts to really help Jefferson mentally. One last example of a lesson learned because of this main decision, is Grant ́s new view on religion.

Towards the end of the book while talking to Jefferson, Grant states, ̈I think it’s God that makes people care for people, Jefferson. I think it’s God makes children play and people sing. I believe it’s God that brings loved ones together. I believe it’s God that makes trees bud and food grow out of the earth. ¨ This quote shows that Jefferson is actually thinking about God when in the beginning he seemed to want nothing to with him. Along with this, at the end of the book Grant has his children kneel and pray for the entire execution to pay respect to Jefferson. These events come together to show the reader just how much Grant has changed from the beginning of the book to the end. By the end of the book, Grant gets through to Jefferson and gives him the power to walk to the chair with his head held high, knowing that he is infact a man. All of these events that are included in the book come together to show that even small decisions can make a huge impact, and decide what happens to certain characters and how their personality can be changed.

In addition, book characters aren’t the only ones that make decisions that affect them. Everyone makes at least one decision at some point, and with these decisions come consequences, and help us write our own story. Some decisions are actually thought about, and some can be almost like reflexes, however they all make some sort of change. An example of this can be shown from my own life. On the date of March 10th 2016, which was also my birthday, I made a choice to stay home from school with my mom. This decision changed my life and my relationship with my mom forever. In the early afternoon, all of the horses were tied, but my mom quickly got into a predicament and was kicked by one of the horses. She flew across the barn and was knocked unconscious. Her jaw was broken in two different places and leaving it in free float, lacerated her liver, punctured her lung, broke two ribs and was gurgling blood. On that day I had to pat her down, find her phone, call 911, and clean out her airway. Eleven minutes later, the first responders had arrived, and were able to save her life. The decision that we made to go riding in the first place had ended in some rough consequences.

However, the decisions that I have made along the way to call 911, clean out her airway and more, not only helped save her life, but brought my mom and I closer together and eventually led to me receiving an award from the Wisconsin Public Police Association. This important moment of my life and the decisions that I made at this time prove to show how just a simple decision can change someone’s life forever. In conclusion, all different sorts of people make decisions everyday, whether they realize it or not. Many decisions that are made have the power to change a life forever, and give a character, real or not, the power to write his or her own story. This is supported by many different examples including the book A Lesson Before Dying and my own life.

Whether it is a decision made by a book character, a real life person, an actor or whoever else, any kind of decision will have an impact. It is up to us as a people to make these decisions ours, and begin writing our own story.


Cite this paper

Choices Can Change Life Expository. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/choices-can-change-life/



Can decision change your life?
Yes, decisions have the power to change the course and direction of one's life. A single decision can lead to a series of events and opportunities that can shape one's future.
What affects our choices in life?
Our choices in life are affected by our past experiences and our current situation.
Why is it important to make choices in life?
It is important to make choices in life because they allow us to control our own destiny. If we make good choices, we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
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