Essay Intro: Attention-getter

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Thesis/Bottom line: What lessons did the character(s) learn so far in the novel and how have the lessons impacted their behavior and attitudes and beliefs about life?

Essay Intro:

1. Attention-getter

2. Statement of the title of the book and author's last name and plot

3. Background about history in the novel and how it affects the characters and plot

4. State the topic of the essay: Statement of the lessons

5. Thesis: How the lessons have impacted the characters

In life, sometimes justice is not served. This can be seen in the novel A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines as the main character Jefferson is accused of a crime he didn't commit and sentenced to the electric chair. Similarly, the character Grant, a black school teacher, is expected by his aunt to go visit Jefferson in jail and to make him a man even though he doesn't want this heavy responsibility. Both Grant and Jefferson are living in the south during the 1940s during a time when the white people were always believed to be morally superior to black people. As a result, both Grant and Jefferson are discriminated against by an all-white jury and treated as if they are inferior. In the end, both Grant and Jefferson learn the lesson that life is not always fair or just. Ultimately, they come to realize that they must work harder to overcome the odds against them in order to not lose hope in life.

Organizing your paragraphs:

1. One lesson per paragraph about one character per paragraph

2. One lesson per paragraph about more than one character

3. One lesson for the entire essay and relate it to three separate characters

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