A lesson before dying, ernest gaines, capitre 22

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Grant goes to the courthouse to see Jefferson. Paul reluctantly searches the package of food for Jefferson. When Grant enters Jefferson’s cell, the conversation goes much better thistime. Grant asks Jefferson if he would like anything, and Jefferson responds that he would like a gallon of vanilla ice cream to make up for the rest of his life, when he never got enough ice-cream.Jefferson likes Grant’s offer to bring him a little radio.

[pic]Grant borrows money from people at the Rainbow Club. He goes to a little store uptown to buy a small radio. The white sales clerk wantsto give Grant the floor model instead of a brand new radio, but Grant stands his ground and the clerk caves in. Grant takes the radio to the courthouse, receives the sheriff’s permission to give it toJefferson, and gives the radio to Paul to deliver to Jefferson.

I- A racist society

Grant’s experience in the department store shows how a racist society is racist even in its smallestinteractions. Black citizens must depend on the caprices of whites, and if whites, such as the saleswoman who waits on Grant, do not feel like being fair, black people have no recourse. Although blackpeople are no longer physically enslaved, in many ways, they are spiritually enslaved. Grant’s refusal to bow down to the saleswoman’s shoddy treatment represents a victory for him. He insists that shegive him a new radio, and in the end she agrees. This turn of events does not seem like an immense victory, but it is an important one. Gaines suggests that the cunning evil of racism is the way itpervades daily life and begins to seem normal. Tiny moments that make black people feel second-class add up to total oppression. Refusing to tolerate even minor shoddy treatment makes a difference.II- A new relation between Grant and Jefferson

In these chapters, Jefferson begins to take steps toward recovering his dignity by voicing and acting upon personal desires. He admits to Grant...
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