A young man that would have taken a ride from two other individuals he appeared to have known and they ultimately headed to a local store, with the intent of the other two men being to obtain more alcohol. The subsequent choices made in this instance, would lead to the lesson being learned by the defendant in question, as he sat on death row, waiting for what he surely would have felt, was going to be his impending fate. For another man, the lesson would be learned in a different set of circumstances to a degree but equally as important. The lesson that, despite circumstance, all men have the inherent right to be seen as men with potential.
After the events leading to the deaths of the other three in the store, Jefferson would be faced with the choice of what to do next. As far as he was concerned, with a bottle of whiskey in his hand, he had to get away from what had occurred. Just before the Caucasian men would have entered, according to what Jefferson would have said, he went towards the cash register and after the money had been placed in his pockets, the other men would have arrived. Going against the story told by Jefferson, the prosecution would outline a far different scenario, with the goal to prove that, in fact, Jefferson had desired to enter the store with the two men he was with, rob the store owner and then murder him afterwards. His legal representation would set forth to illustrate that Jefferson had not planned to hurt the store owner as the other two had and in fact, would have made unfortunate choices throughout the night, starting with the decision to get into the car when he did.
Over twenty years later, Jefferson's aunt would seek the help of her friend's nephew, who happened to be a teacher. The desire to have a man go to what would have been his fate, rather than the creature that would have been described throughout the course of the trial all of those years ago. For Grant, he would be asked to engage with Jefferson in such a manner that would be similar to that of a teacher and how they would engage with their student. Through similar circumstances in terms of upbringings, Jefferson and Grant would be influenced by the very history that influenced them both. Both being faced with the impression of some of those around them that, no matter what, they would still be seen as less than they were.
Both men would have familial ties to the very plantation house that Grant would ultimately return to, in the presence of his aunt and Jefferson's godmother, in the quest for permission for Grant to visit Jefferson in jail. A visit that would, ideally, give Jefferson the opportunity to know that, in the hours leading up to his death that, unlike what the court had considered him to be, he was in fact a man and not an animal.
Throughout the text, it would illustrate the process of being able to teach Jefferson the lessons required to be seen as a man at death and also, as far as Grant would have been concerned, it would be the lesson of extending human compassion and how such acts can serve as a lesson in return. While attempting to teach those in his class, Grant is faced with students who, in many instances, wish to do other things rather than learn that which he is attempting to teach them. As a lesson of sorts, Grant would explain to his class the case