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The hog represents how racism is very prominent. Whites treated blacks with very little respect, and it shows when Jefferson's lawyer calls him a hog
The chair represents the fear everyone has for dying. Also, that racism is a huge issue. Most of the white men that saw the chair were making jokes about it, but most of the blacks were terrified.
Food is used as a symbol for showing affection for one another. For example, Miss Emma brings Jefferson food to the jail because she wants to show how much she still cares about him.
The notebook represents the friendship between Grant and Jefferson. This also symbolizes how badly Grant wants to teach Jefferson. When the deputy gives Jefferson the book, he shakes his hand, so this symbolizes how racism is very slowly going away.
Religion help most people in "A Lesson Before Dying" deal with Jefferson being arrested and executed. The church supports Miss Emma and Jefferson's family through all of the issues.
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