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Jefferson Dies, But Is Not Defeated Jefferson, a black man condemned to die by the electric chair in the novel A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, is perhaps the strongest character in African-American literature today. Jefferson is a courageous young black man that a jury of all white men convicts of a murder he has not committed ; yet he still does not let this defeat destroy his personal character. Ernest Gaines portrays Jefferson …

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…way to overcome all of them. He is one of the best examples in literature that a man can overcome many defeats without destruction. Jefferson proves that as long as a man can still take comfort in things, show compassion for others, and better himself; he will never destruct as a human being. This is one of the most important lessons to be learned from a literary character. Works Cited Gaines, Ernest. A Lesson Before