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A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

By Ernest J. Gaines

During this novel, a tender guy who returns to Forties Cajun state to coach visits a black adolescence on loss of life row for against the law he did not dedicate. jointly they arrive to appreciate the heroism of resisting.

This concise complement to Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson ahead of loss of life is helping scholars comprehend the general constitution of the paintings, activities and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural views of the writer.

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A Lesson Before Dying

During this novel, a tender guy who returns to Forties Cajun state to educate visits a black adolescence on dying row for against the law he did not devote. jointly they arrive to appreciate the heroism of resisting. This concise complement to Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson ahead of loss of life is helping scholars comprehend the final constitution of the paintings, activities and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural views of the writer.

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Additional resources for A Lesson Before Dying

Sample text

Farrell Jarreau arrives to tell Grant that he is wanted up front, Grant senses that someone is present, but he first finishes grading a paper, thinking that one of his students has come in from recess. ) When Grant realizes that his visitor is Mr. ” As Mr. Farrell leaves, Grant notices his “stoop-shouldered” walk. He also notices that, instead of going back to work, Mr. Farrell is headed home. Here again, Gaines’ use of dialogue and detail speaks volumes. In describing the scene between Grant and Mr.

Consequently, he realizes that there was a point in time when, had he made a different choice, his life might have taken a different turn. Once he is able to accept this fact, he is able to release his hatred toward his captors and to accept his fate with grace and dignity. 57 In reading Jefferson’s diary, we find him to be a sensitive, intelligent, introspective man (not unlike Mr. Farrell Jarreau) whose potential for a full and meaningful life has been stunted by poverty and racism. We see him not only as an uneducated, incarcerated black male, but as someone’s son and someone’s friend.

Consequently, we begin to appreciate the powerful role of music in the characters’ lives: Music provides spiritual sustenance in times of trouble and offers a means of expressing and exorcising physical and emotional suffering, a theme that is further developed in subsequent chapters. Music is also a form of language and expression, pointing to the creative impulses of the black community that 31 could not be silenced. The selection of the song “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” can be seen as foreshadowing Jefferson’s execution and Grant’s decision not to be a witness.

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