A Lesson before Dying

In A Lesson before Dying, Grant Wiggins is called upon to teach a young man awaiting execution how to die with dignity. It is a difficult and challenging task, but one that Wiggins believes is important. He comes to understand that the young man, Jefferson, is not just a symbol of all the black men who have been wrongly accused and convicted, but a human being with his own hopes and fears.

In the end, Wiggins helps Jefferson to see that he has value as a person, and that his life has meaning.

“A Lesson before Dying” is a novel by Ernest J. Gaines that tells the story of a young African-American man named Jefferson, who is wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to death. Despite the odds, Jefferson’s lawyer manages to get him a retrial, but Jefferson is still found guilty and sentenced to death. As his execution date approaches, Jefferson begins to lose hope, but he is inspired by his friend Grant Wiggins, a teacher at the local African-American school.

Grant helps Jefferson see the value of his life and gives him the strength to face his death with dignity. “A Lesson before Dying” is an important book that tackles difficult issues like racism and injustice. It is also a moving story about friendship, hope, and redemption.

A Lesson before Dying Summary

A Lesson before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines is a novel about racism, injustice, and the human spirit. The story is set in the late 1940s in a small Louisiana town. Jefferson, a young black man, is accused of a crime he did not commit and is sentenced to death.

Grant Wiggins, Jefferson’s teacher, tries to help him die with dignity and teach him a lesson about life before he dies. The novel explores the themes of racism, injustice, and the human spirit through the eyes of two very different men.


What is the Message of A Lesson Before Dying?

The message of A Lesson Before Dying is that all people are deserving of dignity and respect, no matter their station in life. The novel’s protagonist, Grant Wiggins, is a young black man who has been hired to teach at an all-black school in the late 1940s. He is struggling with his own sense of worthlessness and futility when he meets Jefferson, a young black man who has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.

Through their interactions, Grant comes to see Jefferson as a human being worthy of love and respect, and he begins to believe in his own ability to make a difference in the world. This message is reinforced throughout the novel, as characters from all walks of life come to see Jefferson as a person deserving of compassion and kindness. In the end, Grant learns that it is possible for even the most broken among us to find redemption and hope.

Is A Lesson Before Dying Based on a True Story?

No, A Lesson Before Dying is not based on a true story. However, the author, Ernest J. Gaines, has said that the novel was inspired by an incident that occurred in his hometown when he was a child.

What is A Lesson Before Dying About Summary?

Ernest J. Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying is the story of Jefferson, a twenty-one-year-old uneducated black man sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. In the town where Jefferson lives, blacks are considered inferior to whites and are not treated with respect. The novel focuses on Jefferson’s relationships with two white men: Grant Wiggins, a college educated black man who returns to his hometown to teach at the local plantation school; and Matthew Antoine, the plantation owner’s son who is appointed as Jefferson’s lawyer.

Grant becomes frustrated with his students, whom he feels are hopelessly ignorant. He tells them that they are “nothin’ but niggers” and that they will never amount to anything in life. However, when he learns of Jefferson’s situation, Grant realizes that he has an opportunity to help someone.

He visits Jefferson in jail and begins teaching him how to read and write. Despite his initial anger towards Grant, Jefferson comes to respect him and looks up to him as a father figure. When asked why he is helping Jefferson, Grant says that it is because “[Jefferson] is a human being…and every human being deserves a chance.”

As Jefferson awaits his execution, Grant continues to visit him and gives him hope that there is more to life than what exists in their small town. On the day of Jefferson’s execution, Grant Wiggins delivers the eulogy at his funeral service. In it, he urges those in attendance to remember Jefferson not as a criminal or as someone who was less than human, but as a man who died with dignity and courage.

What Grade Level is A Lesson Before Dying?

A Lesson Before Dying is a novel by Ernest J. Gaines. The novel is set in the late 1940s in the fictional town of Bayonne, Louisiana. The story centers on Grant Wiggins, a black man who has been convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Grant’s friend, Jefferson, is also on death row for a crime he did not commit. As Grant prepares Jefferson for his execution, he begins to question his own beliefs about race and justice. A Lesson Before Dying is appropriate for high school students and adults.

The novel deals with difficult topics such as racism and the death penalty, and it includes some violence and profanity. However, these elements are not gratuitous; they are essential to the story and its themes.

A Lesson Before Dying (1999) Don Cheadle | Mekhi Phifer – Drama HD


The blog post is about a book called “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines. The book is set in the late 1940s in Louisiana and is about a young black man who is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to death. The story is told from the perspective of the man’s lawyer, who tries to help him understand what it means to be a man before he dies.

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