• Why this book?
Out of all the books in the world I picked Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, because my brother had just finished reading it for Mrs. Lovett's AP Literature Class. I immediately knew it was an appropriate book for Sophomore World Literature. All the praise my brother was expressing towards the book influnced my decision in reading it. Once I looked into the plot, I found out that it was a topic that I am interested in. The story of a man that was sent to an electric chair just becuase he was black or unintelligent really sparked my interest. The plot reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Green Mile. I also thought of it as a more advanced version of To Kill a Mockingbird. To add to all the facts that I chose this book particularly, it has a literary merit in AP. So reading it now would serve as an asset on AP examination of SAT. I feel it is going to be a very moving and inspirational book. The kind that changes your life.


Ernest Gaines Interview -




I feel like the author tells us that he does not want us to simply read a good book. His book's purpose was to be a life lesson. A lesson to the characters in the book, the reader of the book, and himself. I feel like there should be more author's that have this objective when they are writing. It brings more value in books and reading itself, if you can apply what your learned (if you learned anyting) to your life. That way books will be able to change one into a positive, mature, learned, enlightened, or whatever else to want to be after reading it.





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The movie The Green Mile I feel is exactly like A Lesson Before Dying. John Coffrey was an amazing and innocent man that was accused of murder when all the evidence was against him. Even when he was proved not guilty, the fact that he was black was proof enough that it was him. Jefferson reminds me a lot of Coffrey, because they both were sentenced to the electric chair for crimes they did not commit. And the worst part is that they were both very amazing men who didn't deserve to die. Their death sent a message and a lesson. They both died with dignity and were both very brave men that changed the way the world viewed black people. They were both my definition of a hero, because they cared more about other people then themselves, which is what Grant said in the book. The Green Mile is a must see just as A Lesson Before Dying is a must read, if you're ready to cry and be inspired and moved by these two men.



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Mockingbirds are beautiful birds that make the world a better place by singing. Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird had a character in it that was very similar to Jefferson, and that is Tom Robinson. He, like Jefferson, was blamed for abusing a white woman and was sentenced to death because of the fact that he was black and was ther are the scene of the crime. He reacted to his sentence in the very same way as Jefferson. He was calm, collected, and brave. He may not have looked intelligent, but just like Jefferson, his appearance was not giving away his true intelligence. There was alot more to him that just the amount of education he was given. Both actualy were much wiser and smater than most people assumed. The mockingbird is relevant because that is what Jefferson's analogous character. Tom Robinson, was related to. Jefferson being executed makes me think of killing a mockingbird, because he was an innocent and would never deserve to die. I felt he was almost incapabale of doing anything wrong that would deserve death, just like the mockingbird.




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There were a lot of doors that kept recurring in A Lesson Before Dying. So, this collage of doors represents that. In the last few days of Jefferson's life, he kept having dreams of the door to the execution room. It truly showed that he had fear of it, since he didn't want to go to sleep afterwards. The fact that he only dreamed of the door shows that he really did not want to see what lay within. Sometimes I think that is how were react to doors that open or close to us in our life. Another door that held meaning was the kitchen door to Henri Pichot's house. The fact that Grant had to go through the back door and have the servant let him in represented the inferiority of black people in the book. Grant couldn't simply knock on the front door because it was a white man's house, which I thought was messed up. Doors hold a very important meaning in A Lesson Before Dying.



Montezuema - Fleet Foxes





The lyrics of the song say "Oh man, oh my, oh me. Oh man What I used to be?" Well , atleast I'm pretty sure thats what they say. The whole point of my book is transforming Jeffereson from a "hog" to a man. The word man is repeated over and over agin in the song. Connection? I think so! I imagine Jefferson asking himself "Oh man, what I used to be?" right before he walks into his death by electirc chair. He made such an enormous transformation from the beginning of the book to the very end. And I can help but imagine that question ringing in his head. It made me think of Montezuma by Fleet Foxes.



Time - Pink Floyd





Through the course of what little time Jefferson had left after he was sentenced to death, all he cold think about was the time he had left to live. Whenever Grant came in the check on him, he would depressingly and sometimes anxiously ask hwo much time he had left to live. The importance of the time remainging for Jefferson's transformation into a man is limited and its all he can think about. The concept of time in general reminds me of this song, because the song talks about time and how it ticks away. The alarms and bells in the beginning really enforce the overpowerying worry of time that Jefferson has on his mind throughout the book.





For some reason when Grant's teacher was being super crabby about Grant not leaving the town when he had the chance, it made me think of
Time Is Nothing - Kien Lam. Grant's teacher wanted him to get out of that town because he knew that Grant would want something more. He didn't want him to be stuck there, and not experience or see anything different. This video teaches a lot of things similar to the teacher. The fact that by watching this video, you have basically spent a day around the world within 5 minutes is phenomenal. It truly shows that there is a lot more to the world than one simple town, even though your whole purpose of living is there (in Grant's case). Plus, its one of my favorite videos, and I really wanted to find a connection it had with my book so I could post it.





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All the girl in flipped could see outside her window was the sycamore tree, just as that was all Jefferson could see outside of his cell window.THE SYCAMORE TREE IS A BIG DEAL. One word striked such an interest to me. Sycamore. It is a large, strong, and beatiful tree. So I thought, "hmm, this can't be a coincedence. Maybe there is relevance of the tree." Turns out, THERE WAS. booyah! Anyway,
An American artist and Americans themselves have transformed the uprooted sycamore tree at Ground Zero in New York City into a symbol of protection, hope and strength. I automatically striked a connection to the main character in the movie/book Flipped. She was very passionate about Sycamore trees, and she spent most of her time in once outside of her house. I think that the fact that all that Jefferson could see outside of his cell window is a Sycamore has striking significance. I feel like that particular tree represents that hope and strength Jefferson had and obtained in the remaining time he had in jail.


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For some reason when I think of people who have not been "educated" have a more colorful, vivid, and open mind than people who have been taught what to believe and what to think. Children are more creative and imaginative that adults. And to me, black people that weren't given the oppurtunity to go to school are more wise and expirienced with the world than white folk. That is a conclusion I draw from white and black people from long time ago. Ya know, back in the rascist times. The white people's train of thoughts and beliefs remind my of the left side of the brain. The side that is very limited and square. While the black people, mostly Jefferson, Grant, and Miss Emma in my book, show the potentially better side, that is capable of feeling, emotion and intelligence that the white people can never have. That's not what I believe about today's society. That is just the trend I saw was present in A Lesson Before Dying.
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Alright. So, this song is super awesome. When Jefferson and Grant said they weren't very church involved it made me think of this song. I just felt that this song described their religious views perfectly, because they don't believe in God.





The feeling that people have towards the electric chair reminds me of this video. This is what I imagine is going through people's head when they have to be electrocuted to death. This baby is scared out of his freaking mind!



Royally Purple Flower Abstract Poster By Puja Chakravarty
Royally Purple Flower Abstract Poster By Puja Chakravarty

This piece of art reminds me of Vivian. Her name in general makes me think of a beautiful, purple flower. The color purple represents her personality because I feel her personality is described as a person with good judgement and spiritual fullfillment, which is mainly what purple flowers represent. It is capable of warm and cool, which is synonymous to Vivian because she could be a up or down in her emotions. It reccured over and over by many people that she was a person of quality, and the color purple symbolizes quality, divinity, etc. Flowers are beautiful and delicate, which also made me think that a purple flower would be perfectly describe Vivian's delightful character.

Long Form Article - Death of Innocence

I read this article because the title made me think it would have something to do with an innocent man dying for something he didn't do. However, it turned out to be a murder investigation for a guy that killed his whole family by stabbing them a total of 66 times and setting the house on fire. The main suspect has a crap story with so many wholes that all leads pointed straight to him, so I thought he was pretty stupid. it did relate to my book because there was apparent black and white discrimination. Also, Graves (the killer) was raised by a single mother, who reminded me of Miss Emma. She was heartbroken when she found out what her son had done, and her caring for him made me think of Miss Emma's caring for Jefferson. Another small connection that I found was that the town the slaughter took place in the Brenham, which is the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream. That reminded me of my book, because Jefferson desired a large tub of vanilla ice cream as his last supper. The truth was never revealed in my article, but the obvious prime suspect was sent to jail.