An analysis of the development of the character of wiggins in a lesson before dying

Inmate Wilcher ate his last meal at approximately He has requested no sedative and has chosen not to participate in communion. Inmate Wilcher remains under observation.

An analysis of the development of the character of wiggins in a lesson before dying

Their individual survivals depend on their mutual support. In order to help Jefferson "stand," Grant must first come to terms with his own inner demons, which threaten to make him an emotional cripple like his predecessor, Matthew Antoine.

In short, the two men must support each other, for neither is able to stand alone. Unlike the conventional hero who thrives on total independence, Grant can be a "hero" only through his interaction with Jefferson, and vice versa. This approach to the novel focuses on the Afrocentric perspective in which the needs of the individual are sublimated to the needs of the community.

Further, although Grant and Jefferson are not blood relatives, they are connected through their common experiences as black males.

FEATURED SPEAKERS The tension between two men who both have something to learn about what it is to be a man provides the central structural principle of the novel.
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Licensing › Copy of Identifying Meaning Of Unknown Words Lesson Objective Scholars will be able to analyze characters based on how they speak, think, act, look, and their effects on others by citing textual evidence and discussing their opinions about the characters. Student centered Scholars will be able to analyze characters based on how they speak, think, act, look, and their effects on others by citing textual evidence and discussing their opinions about the characters.

Although physically free, Grant lives in a mental prison of his own making created by his hatred of whites, his arrogance, and his detachment from the black community. As an educated man, he sees himself as superior to people like Jefferson and Rev. Instead of preparing him to contribute to his community, his formal education has taught him to despise his own people.

Consequently, he uses his role as a teacher not to inspire and uplift his students but to humiliate and ridicule them, much as his own teacher, Matthew Antoine, humiliated and ridiculed him. Thus, instead of using his skills and talents to change the cycle of poverty and violence, Grant perpetuates the cycle by failing to challenge the system.

Unlike Jefferson, Grant has had numerous opportunities to leave Bayonne and change his life, but he has decided to stay and teach at the plantation school, not because he is a dedicated teacher who cares about his students, but because he feels that as a black man living in a racist white world, he has little or no control over his life.

Unlike Miss Emma, he refuses to challenge the system that keeps him in a state of mental slavery.

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Instead, he internalizes his rage and vents his pain and frustration on his students. Because Grant has been exposed to a different lifestyle, he is much more aware of the opportunities denied to him because of his race.

Consequently, he is much more likely than Jefferson to strike out at the oppressive white community determined to keep him in his place. We can surmise that one of the reasons why Grant is reluctant to become involved with Jefferson is that he recognizes the thin barrier that separates him from Jefferson, a fellow black male who has experienced the same type of racism and discrimination.

Note that without the intercession of Joe Claiborne and Vivian, Grant would likely have been arrested for assault or murder. In a interview, Gaines notes that, according to Booker T. Washington, the newly freed slaves did three things: They left the plantation at least temporarilychanged their names assuming new identitiesand learned to read and write.

Grant has gone through all three stages, but despite his new identity as "professor" and "teacher," he remains mentally enslaved. It is only by acknowledging his kinship with Jefferson and re-establishing his relationship with the black community that he finally achieves his freedom.

The character of Grant Wiggins in A Lesson Before Dying from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Grant is a disillusioned product of the black church. He is not prepared for the responsibilities of leadership. He wants freedom without responsibility.

An analysis of the development of the character of wiggins in a lesson before dying

Although he sets out to teach Jefferson to "be a man," he has doubts about his own humanity. While Antoine feels superior because of his lighter skin color, Grant feels superior because of his education, which, he thinks, puts him in a higher social class.

Jefferson exemplifies the young black male who has internalized into self-hatred the hatred shown him by white racists.

An analysis of the development of the character of wiggins in a lesson before dying

His lack of self-worth and self-esteem is a major factor in his apathy and defeatist attitude. In order to reach him, Grant must first break through the barrier of his self-hate.Analysis and discussion of characters in Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson before Dying. Analysis Lesson Plans Grant Wiggins, the protagonist, is also the novel’s primary narrator, so it is.

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