A lesson before dying

2395 mots 10 pages
In Chapter 9, the focus shifts from the plantation school to the county jail as Grant and Miss Emma, for the first time, are able to talk to the captive Jefferson. In Chapter 10, we find Grant and Miss Emma going through the by-now familiar ritual at the courthouse: The deputy searches Miss Emma’s basket of food and examines the contents of Grant’s pockets, then leads them past the other inmates to Jefferson’s cell. As before, Jefferson is sullen and unresponsive, and Miss Emma leaves in tears, asking the deputy to distribute the leftover food among the other inmates. The next time Grant stops by to pick up Miss Emma, she insists that she is too sick to travel. Ignoring his protests, Tante Lou and Miss Emma persuade Grant to visit Jefferson alone; they then send him on his way with a bag that — in Grant’s opinion — contains enough food to feed everyone at the jail. When Grant arrives for his first solo visit with Jefferson (Chapter 11), Sheriff Guidry is there to meet him instead of the chief deputy. After Grant’s brief conversation with the sheriff, Paul, the young deputy, escorts him to Jefferson’s cell. As Grant urges Jefferson to eat some of Miss Emma’s food, Jefferson initially ignores him. Then, as Grant watches in amazement, Jefferson gets down on his hands and knees, puts his head inside the bag of food, and proceeds to show him how a hog eats. Not wanting the sheriff to know that his visit has been unsuccessful, Grant decides to stay until the end of his allotted hour, half-heartedly attempting to engage Jefferson in conversation. Upon leaving, he tells Jefferson that he will tell Miss Emma how much he (Jefferson) enjoyed her food. As Paul escorts Grant back to the office, they talk briefly about Jefferson. Reluctant to tell Miss Emma about his visit, Grant stops by the Rainbow Club on his way home (Chapter 12). At the club, he finds Joe Claiborne and two old men discussing their current hero, Jackie Robinson. As he listens to their conversation and

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