Ernest J. Gaines' "A Lesson before Dying" Book Review by Writing Specialists

Ernest J. Gaines' "A Lesson before Dying"
This paper discusses relationships in Ernest J. Gaines' novel "A Lesson before Dying".
# 92084 | 1,040 words | 1 source | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Feb 12, 2007 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explains that, in Ernest J. Gaines' novel "A Lesson before Dying", race is the obvious issue in the story with which the author and the main character Grant Wiggins struggle; however, equally important to the novel is the issue of gender. The author points out that the relationship between Grant Wiggins and the women in his life -- Tante Lou, Miss Emma and Vivian -- can be examined in terms of how men and women understand each other and what the expectations were for black men in the South. The paper concludes that, in the end, Grant learns, through the amazing example of Jefferson's actions, that it is possible to be a man even under the most miserable conditions imaginable.

From the Paper:

"Even though Grant's relationship with Tante Lou and Miss Emma is at times hostile, he still respects them as elderly women in his society. In chapter twelve upon returning from visiting Jefferson in jail and having a bad experience, Grant does not want to tell Miss Emma what has happened. He tries to protect her by thinking of a good lie to tell her so her feelings won't be hurt. He is also respectful of his aunt's feelings throughout the novel because he lives in her house and she raised him."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gaines, Ernest J. A Lesson Before Dying. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Ernest J. Gaines' "A Lesson before Dying" (2007, February 12) Retrieved April 07, 2020, from

MLA Format

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