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Comparative on Look Both Ways Movie and a Lesson Before Dying Novel

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In both Ernest J.Gaines novel ALBD and Sarah Watts film Look Both Ways the protagonists Nick and Jefferson have similar views on life and death throughout the text. At the beginning both Nick and Jefferson are very pessimistic at their inevitable deaths, and this ultimately cripples both character as they struggle to come to terms with this. Secondly both characters have a community supporting them and in both cases even though the communities may only make small gestures those undoubtedly make the characters more positive and open minded towards their death. All of the people in their lives change them for pessimists to optimists as they both seek higher purposes in life and they focus not on death, they focus on the life they lived and how they will be remembered.

Nick and Jefferson fear death in the beginning of both narratives.

"Tell nanna nothing don't matter no more...".Death, it is something that we all must face in our lives and the way we cope with it may differ depending the circumstances. Jefferson an average black man working in a plantation during the 1940's was sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit, due to the colour of his skin. Jeffersons attorney quotes ' This man is merely a hog and incapable of committing such a crime'. This event cripples Jefferson as the time in his cell gives him time to think about his life. Being a black man in a white society was a daunting life and Jefferson must of felt what was the point of his life. As a white man can sentence any black man to that chair with a few words and a white boy can be anything he wants to be whereas a black boy is told what he can do and what he can't. This ideal is exemplified in the scene where Jefferson is seen eating like a hog, Jefferson accepting his death and acting like the white men expect him to by acting like a hog. Nick doesn't conform to any ideal or person during his confrontation with testicular cancer, however he too daunts on the purpose of his life. Nick visiting his mother and getting closer to Meryl make him think about his life and how he hasn't really accomplished much as he hasn't got a wife or kids even though he looks to be in his mid 30's. This forces Nick to face the fact that even though he is starting to have a relationship with Meryl he will probably never be able to have a real family as he ponders waiting for the cancer to worsen. The restrictions these men face cripple them in the beginning, however with people behind them their views on life can change.

Both texts are based in a communal setting and these individuals in this community help the characters cope with their inevitable deaths and view not only death in a different way but their lives in a different way. Nick's community consists of his family, Meryl, Andy and his boss, this on paper doesn't look like much of a community however this is due to Nick not telling many people about his condition. A simple gesture went a long way as Nick's boss chose his photo to be the front page picture even though it didn't relate to the the article. His boss had a good intention as he thought that Nick needed something to go his way during his time of despair. This pans out to actually help Nick as he finds himself stumbling into Meryl and the icebreaker is his front



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