God And Heaven In A Lesson Bef

1012 words - 4 pages

Religion and Heaven In Ernest J. Gaines's novel, A Lesson Before Dying, we learn about man, his suffrage, and his development. This novel is a story about man's soul and dignity. It is a story about a young mans soar to the peak of humanity and heroism. It is a novel of improvement and development. Jefferson, who has been sentenced to death for a crime he has not committed-once referred by his attorney a hog-learns how to become a man and gets off of his four legs and stands! This is a story of a kid's struggle and development into manhood. It is about a kid who becomes a hero for his people and his family. In this novel we learn that not only the soul, but also the nature of humanity and the dignity of mankind is needed. Henri Pichot, the white landowner, questions Miss Emma that, "At this point, I would be more concerned about his [Jefferson] soul if I were you," and she responds, "Yes sir, I'm concerned for his soul…. But I want him to be a man, too…" (22). It becomes Grant Wiggins's responsibility to teach Jefferson how to change his attitude and gain the courage to stand and reach salvation. Grant becomes responsible to help Jefferson walk towards death like a man, and does not have to do anything about his soul. It is through the close relationship that Grant and Jefferson develop through their conversations that finally deep down in their hearts they believe in heaven and God's promise about heaven. They learn about the world and its difficulties and how many people are anxious to reach heaven because they have nothing here, in this world, to grasp to. There are many things that show, neither Jefferson nor Grant care about religion. For example during the lunch they have in the courthouse, Grant starts his meal before Reverend Ambrose starts the blessing and Jefferson doesn't respond to Reverend's prayer (190). But it is through Grant and Reverend, and Grant and Jefferson's talks that the novel assures us that heaven's existence is needed, even if it is not there the belief that it exists is very important for many people. People need it to be there so they would not think their life in this world is without any justification. It must be there to make everything fair. They need it to be true so they can hope they will earn what they didn't get in this world, especially for Jefferson and for the ones who have suffered in this world. Religion in this novel is known as a device to relief pain. Reverend Ambrose tells Grant how God has been a source of relief from the grief and sorrow that people suffer from. God has been a source for salvation...

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