Short on time?

Get essay writing help

The Topic Of Racism And Justice In A Lesson Before Dying And To Kill A Mockingbird

Words: 635
Page: 1
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

After reading the first chapter of A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, I immediately made a connection to To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I decided to reread the trial from To Kill a Mockingbird and compare it to the trial in A Lesson Before Dying. The obvious connection is that black men are convicted of crimes that they evidently did not commit. However, since the men live in racist communities, they are essentially guilty until proven innocent. As a result, their lawyers are forced to come up with distinctive and creative ways to prove their client’s innocence. In A Lesson Before Dying, the defense attorney tries to convince the members of the jury that Jefferson is too foolish and unintelligent to have orchestrated the robbery. Conversely, Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird calls into question Mayella, the plaintiff, and her father’s credibility. One thing that I also noticed is that the lawyers use reputation to emphasize their points. For example, Jefferson’s attorney says, “Gentleman of the jury, look at this-this-this boy”. He does this to show that he does not know what to call Jefferson—is he man or is he just a boy who is incapable of committing the crime he is accused of (Gaines 7). Atticus states that witnesses testifying against Tom Robinson are “confident that you gentleman would go along with their assumption- that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negroes are not to be trusted around women…” to stress that it would be wrong to assume that Tom is guilty solely because he is black (Lee 273). Another thing I noticed was the similarity of each lawyer’s closing arguments. Atticus tries to appeal the juror’s integrity by saying that there is no equality in the United States except for the courtroom. The attorney in A Lesson Before Dying, using pathos to appeal to the juror’s emotions by stating that Jefferson means everything to godmother and without him, her life would be meaningless. What surprised me was a difference in the tone of each passage. The tone in To Kill a Mockingbird is formal and educated, but the tone in A Lesson Before Dying is arrogant and nasty.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

I felt that this book letter would not be complete without talking about Jefferson. Jefferson is an interesting character for many reasons, but what I find most interesting is his resemblance to Jesus. I mean if you think about it, they are both martyrs. Jesus was executed for his religious beliefs and Jefferson is murdered largely because of his race. Furthermore, they both die with a burden. Jesus died with his sins and Christians believe that his death allowed mankind to atone for its sins. Jefferson’s burden is to break the myth that white people are superior to black people. Grant tells Jefferson, “I want you to chip away at the myth by standing. I want you—yes, you—to call them liars. I want you to show them that you are as much a man—more a man than they can ever be” (Gaines 192). Jefferson can rid the myth from society by showing everyone that he is a man—and not a hog—before he dies. I also realized that they were both killed during the springtime, which is a time for rebirth. Jesus’ death was a rebirth for Christians and Jefferson’s death can be seen as a rebirth for black people because Jefferson demonstrates bravery as he is killed and thus destroys the myth. Also, some people believe that Jesus was crucified between noon and three, which is when Jefferson dies.

I wish I had more space to go on because there is so much more to say. Overall, I am glad I read A Lesson Before Dying and had the opportunity to reflect on what I read.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

The Topic Of Racism And Justice In A Lesson Before Dying And To Kill A Mockingbird. (2021, August 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“The Topic Of Racism And Justice In A Lesson Before Dying And To Kill A Mockingbird.” Edubirdie, 31 Aug. 2021,
The Topic Of Racism And Justice In A Lesson Before Dying And To Kill A Mockingbird. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
The Topic Of Racism And Justice In A Lesson Before Dying And To Kill A Mockingbird [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 31 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.