A Lesson before Declining is a remarkable novel, set in Bayone, Louisiana in the 1940’s, about a great uneducated, illiterate black gentleman, Jefferson, who may be falsely charged of tough and sentenced to fatality. While on trial, his security attorney compared him into a hog, calling him nothing more than a deceive and a cornered animal. Jefferson’s godmother wants him to become a guy before he dies. She persuades two men, Offer Wiggins and Reverend Ambrose, to visit with Jefferson and teach him what it means to be a man.

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While both equally men desire the same outcome, they argue about what this means to be an educated man. Grant believes that his degree gives him all the expertise he needs. However , Reverend Ambrose feels that getting educated will go deeper that reading, producing, and arithmetic. Grant Wiggins, the boy of plantation workers, returns to his hometown following attending school with a demeanor that his education in some way sets him apart the other black men residing in his community.

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This individual becomes a plantation teacher, completing the pattern of getting back to his roots.

While he could be outraged with how different blacks are treated, this individual does not work with his education to help the source. Instead, he becomes upset and nasty. He would not believe they can help Jefferson and he does not like to get involved: “What do I say to him? Do I know what a male is? Do I know how a male is supposed to expire? I’m still trying to find out how a man should live. Am I supposed to tell someone how you can die who has never were living?  (Gaines 31) Reverend Ambrose is actually a black preacher, determined to preach the gospel and lead visitors to salvation and an what bodes with Christ.

Reverend Ambrose wants the blacks in his community to live peacefully together with the whites and rise up from the ashes of slavery. He is kind and compassionate and lives a humble lifestyle. While he’s not knowledgeable like Grant, he is very wise to the realities of life. This individual believes that his knowledge of people makes him even more educated than Grant. Reverend Ambrose feels that Offer looks upon him, because he is uneducated. He is determined to put Grant in his place by contacting him “boy and sharing with him what he considers of him, “When you act well-informed, I’ll call up you Grant.

I’ll even call you Mr. Grant, when you behave like a man.  (Gaines 216) Reverend Ambrose is furious that Scholarhip does not genuinely see what Tante Lou has done to get him. He is frustrated that with all of Grant’s education he still does not understand his people: “Cause reading, composing, and ‘rithmetic is too little. You think that’s all they will sent one to school for? They sent you to school to relieve pain, to relieve hurt”and if you have to sit to do it, then you certainly lie. You lie and you simply lie and you simply lie¦

You tell them that ’cause they may have pain as well, and you avoid want to add yours”and you lie.  (Gaines 218) Reverend Ambrose understands why Tante Lou made sacrifices to send Grant to college. Your woman wanted Give to return house and make any difference for his people. This makes Reverend Ambrose irritated that somebody as well-informed as Scholarhip cannot really see how people truly feel. Reverend Ambrose believes that it is better to lay in order to prevent others coming from hurting. This individual wants Scholarhip to assure Jefferson of the existence of Heaven.

He wanted Give to sit and declare he believed in God and Heaven: “I won’t enable you to sent that boy’s soul to terrible.  This individual did not wish Grant to acknowledge to Jefferson his lack of hope in Our god. He wants a perishing man to achieve the hope associated with an afterlife that was a lot better than his life here. Reverend Ambrose could not understand how an informed man might take away the hope of a guy that started be carried out. While it can be easy to argue that Reverend Ambrose not as well-informed as Scholarhip, one cannot overlook the reality his life knowledge goes far much deeper than Grant’s.

He knows the depths of peoples’ souls, and knows how to enjoyment led them to knowledge and truth. Scholarhip, on the other hand, is usually naive about other’s emotions. His education lacks true to life knowledge, and also the ability to interact with people. Reverend Ambrose perceives where Offer is missing and feels that right up until he clears his eye and cardiovascular to those around him, he will never truly be knowledgeable. Works Offered Gaines, Ernest J. A Lesson just before Dying. Ny: First Antique Contemporaries, 1994. Print.

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