A Lesson Before Dying

How can Jefferson become a hero?

chapter 24-26

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Jefferson doesn’t touch the food, and later Grant confronts him about it, saying that he should try the gumbo because it would make Miss Emma happy. He goes on that Jefferson has the potential to be a hero by putting the happiness of others before his own. Grant explains that he is no hero himself, for he has passively accepted a job he hates, teaching children about the values of white people, and “nothing else—nothing about dignity, nothing about identity, nothing about loving and caring” (192). Grant implores Jefferson to prove to white people that African-Americans are just as human as they are, by facing his fate with courage and dignity.