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Grant also frets that he is being required to impart white values, and that even as it helps people, education might also be eroding African-American culture.Racism pervades the ethnically mixed town of Bayonne, a fact that might not surprise those familiar with the history of the South at this time.Though Pichot asked that Grant come to his house, Pichot still made him wait hours just so that he could continue talking to his white friends.
At the beginning of the novel, Grant is convinced that any dignity he has comes from his high level of education.
This attitude prevents him from getting through to Jefferson, who is of significantly lower social status than Grant.
The women who are considered beautiful in the quarter all seem to be light-skinned.
Gaines takes care to emphasize that anyone can be racist, without minimizing the enormity of segregation by whites.
Grant Wiggens was a very well educated black male who was treated unfairly in many situations because of his skin color.
Grant waited on several occasions to talk to Henri Pichot.He encourages Jefferson to pray just to please Miss Emma, also suggesting that religion can be a useful means of social cohesion even if the teachings themselves are questionable to some.Grant spends much of the novel at odds with the people around him, especially Tante Lou and Reverend Ambrose.At a pivotal moment in the text, Grant tells Jefferson that he persists in visiting the prison not because he feels obliged to his aunt or Miss Emma, but because Vivian encouraged him to.For Gaines, love is a more powerful influence than selfishness, duty, or even society at large.This can perhaps be extrapolated to social change in general; Gaines seems to suggest that many different subcultures and personalities must cooperate if social problems like racism are to be eradicated.Throughout many novels authors use themes to reveal the plot. Jefferson is sentenced to death by a white judge and jury for a crime that he did not commit.demonstrate an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, from Jefferson and Grant to Edna Guidry and Henri Pichot.The murder of Alcee Gropé occurs because Brother and Bear are desperate for wine, and Jefferson is unable to explain what happened in great detail because he was drunk; in a sense, the main conflict of the book can be blamed on excessive drinking.At the beginning of the novel, Grant views religion with disdain, acknowledging its important place in African-American culture while questioning its truth and its usefulness.Although he never embraces Christianity, the events of the novel make him more aware of how religion can soothe the afflicted.