A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines

1640 Words7 Pages
The definition of what it means to be a human or a man, is a topic that is has been and is often discussed all over the world today. In the novel A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, Gaines breaks down the meaning of what it means to be a man thought a character named Grant Wiggins. Grant Wiggins is the main character of the novel and is a very educated African-American man who is also a teacher at a local church in the town. He is trying to define and understand the concept of what it means to be human. He does this to help a wrongly accused man by the name of Jefferson and also to help himself with understanding who he is. Jefferson was, as many say, at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was in a liquor store with two other African-American men. Things got out of control and shots were fired. Jefferson was the only person live at the crime scene when police arrived and he was then accused of the murder of the three dead men. Grant, in the process of trying to help Jefferson, is trying to overcome an internal conflict with himself and also to find his identity as a human being. Ernest J. Gaines has done a marvelous job of incorporating his own past, great plot elements, meaningful themes, and numerous symbols into the novel A Lesson Before Dying. Ernest J. Gaines past has a huge impact on many of his books. Born on January 15, 1933 in Louisiana on a Plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish (Carmean). Ernest’s father, Manuel Gaines, and mother, Adrienne Gains, were
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