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Describe how Bayonne is segregated in A Lesson Before Dying.  

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annessa37 | Student, Grade 9

Posted October 2, 2011 at 3:19 PM via web

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Describe how Bayonne is segregated in A Lesson Before Dying.

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:33 PM (Answer #1)

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We are given a very complete description of Bayonne in Chapter Four, which is when Grant first goes to Bayonne in the novel. As he drives to Bayonne, which is 13 miles away from the quarter, he thinks about his need to be with Vivian and also tells us about the segregation in Bayonne. Note how segregation is shown to be such an everyday part of life for the citizens of Bayonne:

There was a Catholic church uptown for whites; a Catholic church back of town for coloured. There was a white movie theatre uptown; a coloured movie theatre back of town. There were two elementary schools uptown, one Catholic, one public for whites; and the same back of town for coloured.

It is clear from the way in which there are two of everything for the whites and the coloured population that Bayonne is deeply segregated and constructed so that the two groups can remain separated. We are even told that the coloured section of the twon can only be reached by an "unlit road" which further separates the two groups of people.

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