Choices In A Novel “A Lesson Before Dying”

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In 1948 there was 116 men executed all across the United States but out of these men 78 of them were of the african american race, this is is over 67%. In the book A Lesson Before Dying by Gaines, the is the whole story line because of the choices that were made and that had to be made while a black man named Jefferson was waiting to be executed by the electric chair.

So the question I’m asking is, how do the choices we make impact our lives and the lives of others? So the choice I am looking at in the novel is how everyone treated people either good or bad based on their race.Your race does not affect your personality but people act like it does every single day and you will see that all around you people are judged based off of their appearance and not who they actually are. To start off, Jeferson and the other black members in bayonne Louisiana are looked at like they are nothing and held back in life with hard working but low low paid jobs at the plantation. In the book grant goes on to say “ The humilition I go through,” then goes on with “To shearh my body each time as if im some kind of common criminal” therefore he ends with “they were going to break me down to the nigger I was born to be.”

This was when Grant was refusing to back and see Jeffeson, especially because the ones making him go were refusing to go themselves. In the quote he talks about how he is treated by the white police officers and feels like it is a very degrading moment every time he goes back there. Those people have no idea who he is but are still choosing to act like they do because of the color of their skin and the idea that african Americans are less than white people. Another example of people being judged based on there apperence in the book is when grant brings up “ Since emaniciationn, almost 100 years ago, they would do any kind of work they could find to keep fro working side by side in the feild with the niggers.” (25.6) I chose this quote because it is when grant is talking about  the biracial men that he sees because it shows there isn\’t just white and black in this story. Yet whites are seen as superior to blacks they also see biracial people as being in between. It is like there very own social class but it has nothing to do with who you but how you look whatsoever. There are many other instances in the book where you can see racial stereotyping taking place but this also happens in todays world too.

Making assumptions based on someon’s appearance never really stop, it might not be as focused on race but maybe by the things that they wear or do or look like. Now the choice in my life happens every single, multiple times a day in everybody’s lives, not just mine. There have been many times where I have judged someone based on their appearance without knowing who they are. I have also seen many other also judge people on their appearance as well. I’m not saying it is right to do it is far from opposite actually but we all have been doing it for so long it just happens naturally.

For example I maybe walking in a public area and see someone wearing an old shirt or dirty shirt and the fist thing that would pop into my mind would be that they are poor. Even though it could be something totally else but because in my head I decided that just based off of what someone is wearing makes them poor. In addition, this could lead to me making false assumptions about a person, now I have the choice to try to limit how much I let these choices affect how I see the person. In conclusion we all judge people based on appearance but it is how we use this information or let it affect in the real problem or not. Also we have been doing it for so long it’s not just going to go away if we stop thinking about but it will help if we can limit this and see when we are doing it because we probably do\’t realize how often it really happens, it probably happens with people we have even met before.

In a Lesson Before Dying you can see this in every single person’s life and how they all have their assumptions about people based off of the color of their skin, their job and evan there family. The reason this is important and relize . You must remember that your not just just doing this to other peoplebut other are doing the same to you and you want to contoll what people think of you because it might not aways be the best thing.

Cite this paper

Choices In A Novel “A Lesson Before Dying”. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/choices-in-a-novel-a-lesson-before-dying/

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