HomeLiterature Study GuidesA Lesson Before Dying

A Lesson Before Dying | Study Guide

Ernest J. Gaines

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Download Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "A Lesson Before Dying Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Oct. 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Lesson-Before-Dying/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, October 2). A Lesson Before Dying Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Lesson-Before-Dying/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "A Lesson Before Dying Study Guide." October 2, 2017. Accessed December 13, 2017. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Lesson-Before-Dying/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "A Lesson Before Dying Study Guide," October 2, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Lesson-Before-Dying/.

Overview

A Lesson Before Dying infographic thumbnail

Author

Ernest J. Gaines

Year Published

1993

Type

Novel

Genre

Historical Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

A Lesson Before Dying is narrated in the first person by Grant Wiggins, a teacher who visits Jefferson, a young man condemned to die, in jail.

Tense

A Lesson Before Dying is written in the past tense.

About the Title

Set in rural Louisiana in the pre-civil rights years (late 1940s), Jefferson is a young black man sentenced to die for the murder of a white man—a murder he did not commit. At Jefferson's trial, his attorney likens him to a hog—an animal—and argues Jefferson is too stupid to have planned and committed the crime. Jefferson's godmother Miss Emma, determined that Jefferson die knowing he is a man, believes the local school teacher, Grant Wiggins, can teach Jefferson this lesson during the months he has left. Tortured and jaded by inner conflicts, Grant reluctantly begins visiting Jefferson in jail. Their roles blur and the teacher receives the lesson of a lifetime from his student in A Lesson Before Dying.

Summary

This study guide and infographic for Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents, Q&A pairs, and flashcards created by students and educators.

Buy this book from Amazon.com
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about A Lesson Before Dying? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Download Study Guide
Ask a homework question - tutors are online