Essay about A Lesson Before Dying By Gary Taft

Submitted By taftgj66
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“A Lesson Before Dying”
By
Gary Taft

English 1121
1:00-1:50
Professor Beste
November 1, 2010
When I read the book first many things came to my mind, but the key thing was why was it so important for Grants Aunt and Jefferson’s Godmother to have Grant go talk and see Jefferson during the time he had left. It seemed as there was more than just the basic facts that jump out at me. I understood the fact that she didn’t want her godchild to die the way the white men in court describe him. There had to be more reasons that Miss Emma Wanted Grant to go see and talk to Jefferson.
When I read on to me it would have been too easy for grant to just say no. I understand not wanting to upset his Aunt, but what did him going mean to Jefferson’s godmother. Especially when the first three trips Miss Emma had gone with him to see Jefferson, but pretended to be sick the next time he came to get her to go see Jefferson. During that time there was no communication between Jefferson and Grant. To me I would be really thinking why I am doing this. Then that next time when the godmother didn’t go with it seemed like there that was the ice breaker to have them start talking. I think was when Grant realized that he could do something for Jefferson. The way that Jefferson when he showed Grant how a hog eats. That was the point then that Grant realized maybe by talking to Jefferson he could help him. Once again Grant did think about running away again with Vivian; even though she wouldn’t just run off with Grant to just run from his problems.
As I got farther into the book it was coming to me that Grant’s Aunt and Jefferson’s godmother want grant to make Jefferson believe that no matter what the white man had said about Jefferson in court he was still a man and not a hog as the way they had described him to the people of the court. In the book the lawyer said during the trail “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.”(8)
Then there was the time that after Grant had gone to Jefferson the first time by himself, he didn’t know how to go back and tell Jefferson’s godmother how Jefferson had acted in the jail cell. Referring to that he had eaten the food from the bag as a hog would have. It was then that Grant was a little confused at how to proceed with this action. He didn’t know what he would tell his Aunt or Miss Eloise how Jefferson had acted. He didn’t want to tell the truth, but he didn’t want to lie to them. Then how days later he was confronted by them with the Rev. Ambrose after they had gone to see Jefferson and found out how he had acted with Grant.
I really think that was when Grant realized he had to do something with Jefferson in the times to come. It was then when he started to get a little spiritual again. Realizing that he could not change what had happen to Jefferson, but he could try to restore some type of inner being in Jefferson. Grant also saw that his life though he had chosen to stay in the town where he was from to maybe make a difference, he also wanted more and that wasn’t going to happen there in the town where he was living. That leads me to think that Grant’s Aunt saw this as a way to spiritually get to Grant. To get him back into the church. As he had stated years before he had just lost his faith. Maybe he needed something to help him regain his faith in God.
When I read how Grant in some ways didn’t care for the Rev Ambrose, Was it because he was not an educated man as Grant was? As Grant had described Rev Ambrose in the book, “Reverend Mose Ambrose was a short, very dark man whose face and bald head were always shining. He was the plantation church’s pastor. He was not educated, hadn’t gone to any theological school; he had heard the…