A Lesson Before Dying
A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men arekilled; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles...more
A hero is someone who something for other people. He does something that other men don't an...more
Jefferson, an African-American man living in Louisiana in the late 1940s, is accused of a murder he didn’t commit. His lawyer uses the “hog” defence to get him off; however, this is unsuccessful and Jefferson is sentenced to death. Jefferson’s godmo...more
However, if you are looking for a short, quick-read novel about African-Americans and whites during racial segregation in the style of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', this might be your cup of tea. But ultimately, there is nothing enlightening, heart-wrenching, or poignant about this novel. Many of the issues lay within the main character, Gr...more
That was a passing thought. Sad it was caught on record.
Well, think of a man who knows that he...more
Ernest J. Gaines is a master of simplicity. A Lesson Before Dying is clean and clear writing, descriptions that say just enough to evoke an entire scene with all senses engaged, all heart and mind...more
"When you see that those 5 1/2 months you spend teaching each year are just a waste of time. You'll see that it'll take more than 5 1/2 months to scrape away the blanket of ignorance that has been plastered over those brains in the past 300 years."
"I felt like crying, but I refused to cry. There would be many more who would end up like he did. I can't cry f...more
Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying (1993) poses one of the most universal questions literature can ask: Knowing we're going to die, how should we live? It's the story of an uneducated young black man named Jefferson, accused of the murder of a white storekeeper, and Grant Wiggins, a college-educated native son of Louisiana, who teaches at a plantation school. In a little more than 250 pages, these two men named for president...more
Grant, the main character, is an African-American schoolteacher in Jim Crow 1940s Louisiana. Grant lives with his aunt and feels frustrated and stifled in his job, in no small part because of the uphill battle he must fight just for chalk. The one bright spot in his lif...more
This is a hard book for me to review. In a way I think this reflects well on the book: it speaks for itself. I took the writing style immedia...more
A young black man, Jefferson, is with two other men who commit a robbery and people are killed and Jefferson is tried and sentenced to be executed. Sad, straightforward plot.
Because I don't like to know too much about a story before I read it for myself, I didn't know that the setting was 1940s Louisiana, so was appalled in the first few pages that Jefferson had such an unfair trial where even his defending counsel was racist. But...1940s Louisiana...no, this is not...more
The story, which is told in simple and understated prose, is centered around a young black school teacher named Grant Wiggins who has been charged with what seems like the impossible task of teaching a wrongly convicted and uneducated black man (Jefferson) how to be a "man" before he is executed in the electric chair.
Set in a small Cajun community d...more
"I was not there, yet I was there. No, I did not go...more
but i remembered wrong. there aren't many conversations between the two. in fact, they barely exchange a few hundred words. and, in the balance of the book, the scenes in which they meet take very little space.
which saddened me at the beginning, because i was in the mood for some good writing about how yo...more
summer book; 07- *A Lesson before Dying* is an realistic non-fiction novel. It involves the story of a man named Ernest Grants, he helps to defend the rights of a black man who was accused of murder in a liquor store with two other men. This book is a very breathe-taking novel because it expands on the idea of how Jefferson (the victim on trial) should be sentenced to death a "man". However, everyone in the courthouse thought that he was a hog and shouldnt be treated as an human being. Jefferson...more
I felt like the author could have done a better job of making interesting characters with multiple dimensions. The only two characters that were even attempted to be portrayed as interesting, evolving people were the two main characters. Everyone else was essentially static representations of a particular caricature (i.e. the girlfriend who represents everything good, the grandma who represents piety, the sheriff who represents bigotry, etc, etc). And even the two characters...more
Read with a local group for LEH's RELIC program, "Encounter in Louisiana."
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