An Unfair Treatment for Blacks Imagine being treated differently or discriminated against for having brown eyes, while everyone else has blue eyes, and even segregated or separated for being different. Do you think it would be right not to be considered human beings for not being the same as the others? Something similar happened in the United States a few decades ago. In the book of A Lesson Before Dying, by Earnest Gaines; it describes very specifically how blacks lived, and how they survived in that period of time.
This book is about a black man who is sentenced to death for supposedly killing a white man and a teacher is listed to help him die with dignity. After I read the book and watched the movie, I got to a strong conclusion that the book written by Mr. Gains is astonishingly better in comparison to the movie because it is more understandable as it is written in an admirable way to persuade the readers to comprehend better the themes, and characters from every prospective in a very persuasive way. The two main themes that are highlighted in the story are: discrimination and teaching.
In the movie, racism is not well address because it doesn’t present the reality of blacks, at this period of time. In the other hand, in the novel, perfectly describes the truly emotions of the characters; their challenges and how they conquer those discriminations. Discrimination is wholly addressed in the book with a complete chapter and multiple scenarios of concrete examples: separated but equal societies, schools, neighborhoods, stores, and even morgue services. In the contrary, the movie shows a few illustrations of black characters as Grant, and Jefferson being reminded they were black, whether they were in jail or were educated.
For instance, at the beginning, Grant is forced, by guiltiness from his aunt and from Miss Emma to visit Jefferson, who is sentenced to die for the death of a white man; act which he didn’t committed, but had to pay for. Jefferson’s defender called him a hog in front of the jury, with the purpose of getting off the death penalty. However, Jefferson is furious against his love ones as Miss Emma, and his visitors; he acts like a hog. Grant is called to come to Pichot’s house to be notified he has been granted the privilege of visiting Jefferson in jail.
While Grants waits in the kitchen for hours, Mr. Pichot, as a white man, takes hours to come and see him. Again, this is another example that the book entirely explains because he wants to show Grant, regardless of how educated he is; he’s still a black man and has no power. This is an example that is found in the book and in the movie. Therefore, I think the book is better than the movie because it helps me to understand what a black person felt like, and it is more clearly and specific. The other theme is teaching.
As a teacher, Grant and his students suffer for being blacks; they are less important for the school district, and are thought in a church during weekdays. For instance, they receive used books in not good conditions from white schools. The students have not enough school supplies, and are physically disrespected and inspect by Dr. Joseph, who is a white man and in charge of the schools in the district. He comes once a year, but he visits white schools at least twice a year. In the book, it clearly shows and defined all the characters, especially Grant, since he’s narrating it.
Through the book we can read his thoughts and how he feels. In the contrary, the movie doesn’t show this. Meanwhile, the movie doesn’t properly address this theme because it focuses more in how they interact and not how they specifically feel. Another advantage why the book is better than the movie is because it is written in an interesting way that at the end of each chapter there is a rising climax that keeps you reading until you get to a conclusion. The movie appears to be too visual, though, since you can’t rally hear or read the character’s thoughts, unless they speak or they make gestures.
In the book, you can avoid these kinds of issues; it tells you how the characters feel and is more specific and direct than the movie. Both offer a good view of teaching Jefferson to die with dignity, as a man and not as a Hog. Thus, the movie is not as good as the novel because it doesn’t cover main issues as teaching nor offers views or thoughts from characters; it is not as intense as the book, and it is do, besides, Grant’s unstoppable challenge of teaching to die with dignity, but doesn’t offer as much entertainment.
Another point issue not address in the movie is the importance of the characters because it doesn’t show Paul, the white deputy. He is very significant in the book because it shows that he has respect for black people, and shows that not every white person is pregedist against blacks. At the end of the book, he personally delivers the notice that Jefferson was the strongest and fearless man he has ever seen to walk to the electric room and die as a man.
Thus, the book is better than the novel because it is shows how bad and how good, at the same time, whites treated blacks. Another character not mention at all in the movie is Mathew Antoine. He is Grant’s former teacher, who influences and challenges him in his early years; he’s a mulatto, black with light skin. Also, he reflects himself in Grant because he wanted to run off far away but ended up in the same town as Grant. As a conclusion, the novel offers a better view of the importance of themes as discrimination and characters.
With direct view from the person who is telling the story, who is Grant, and provides better characteristics of the characters who represent different roles than in the movie and which are also more effective in the book. Therefore, the novel is better than the movie because also offers more intensity view than the movie does by actually readying the characters’ views and thoughts through Grant, and by fully understanding the importance of discrimination against characters and the importance of the existence of characters which are excluded in the movie.