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2. Grant has an interesting and unexpected reaction to Jefferson’s nasty comments, implying bad things about Vivian. What is the reaction and why is it unexpected? When Jefferson makes some rather vulgar insinuations about Vivian, Grant realizes that those comments are coming from Jefferson’s pain. Instead of being irate and hitting Jefferson, as he originally wants to do, Grant is able to understand the terrible fear and pain that Jefferson is feeling. 3. What is different about the visitation rules after this visit? Because Miss Emma and Tante Lou have paid a visit to the sheriff’s wife and asked her to speak with her husband, Sheriff Guidry is going to allow Jefferson to have visitors in the dayroom. He will be shackled, but he will be able to walk around, get some sunshine, and get out of the cell for an hour at a time.
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15 A Lesson Before Dying TEACHER’S COPY STUDY GUIDE Chapter Eighteen 1. In their first dayroom visit, Grant brings up the words “moral obligation” for discussion with Jefferson. Why? Grant tries to appeal to Jefferson through discussing what the boy owes his godmother. He tells Jefferson, “No matter how bad off we are we still owe something. You owe something, Jefferson.…But to your godmother. You must show her some understanding, some kind of love.” Grant tells Jefferson that this is his moral obligation to the woman who has cared for him so lovingly. 2. Grant often stays with Jefferson even after the prisoner has shut down and refuses to speak. Is this due to his increasing interest in helping Jefferson? Grant is not yet interested in helping Jefferson as much as he is coerced into it by his aunt and Vivian. He stays because he does not want the sheriff to think that things are not going well. If he had left, the sheriff would then have proof that he is not reaching Jefferson and that Grant is giving up. 3. Define foreshadowing. List some phrases at the end of the chapter that signal a shift in the plot. Foreshadowing – the use of hints or clues in a story to suggest what action is to come. At the end of the chapter, Vivian disagrees with Grant’s perception that nothing he is doing is doing any good for Jefferson. He maintains, “I’m not doing any good up there, Vivian,… Nothing is changing.” “Something is,” she said.
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16 A Lesson Before Dying TEACHER’S COPY STUDY GUIDE Chapter Nineteen VOCABULARY inclement – stormy, rainy, windy 1. Christmas has arrived and, with it, the annual Christmas program at Grant’s school. What is different about this event this year? There has been an unusual amount of rain for two weeks prior to the show, so the kids get in more practice than they usually did; therefore, they do a very good job. Secondly, because the program is dedicated to Jefferson, many more citizens are present than usual. The most obvious difference are the gifts under their little tree. All the children have contributed their pecan-picking money to buy Jefferson a wool sweater and a pair of socks.
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