Analysis of A Lesson Before Dying Essay

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Grant Wiggins is the narrator of the novel. He was born in the plantation just outside of Bayonne, Louisiana. He lived there until he went away to college, and when he went back home, he was detached from the people in the town because of his education and different religious beliefs. He is easily angered and often very selfish. This is seen in the way that he acts towards Vivian. He consistently does not give her the attention or respect that she deserves. He refers to her children as simply, “the babies,” and only cares about the names of his and Vivian’s future children. Grant goes from shallow and selfish at the beginning of the story, to caring and loving at the end. Jefferson is an honest, young black man with below-average …show more content…

Although she wants Jefferson to die as a man, she does not seem to try to make him a man, as Grant does. Vivian is Grant’s beautiful, passionate, and smart girlfriend. She teaches at a black Catholic school in Bayonne. During the book she is married, but separated from her husband, so her relationship with Grant is kept a secret. She has two small children with her husband. Vivian loves Grant but often distrusts him because of his lack of loyalty to his people and hometown. Sheriff Sam Guidry is both a white supremacist and a decent man. At the beginning of the novel he is ignorant and extremely racist towards Grant and Jefferson. He views black people as unintelligent, but when changes start to show in both Jefferson and Grant, he learns otherwise. By the end of the novel, he is nice to Jefferson, and allows more visiting sessions for longer amounts of time. He starts to show signs of respect and compassion to Jefferson.
Main Setting The book takes place in the 1940s in mostly the plantation outside of Bayonne, Louisiana, and parts of the book take place in Bayonne, Louisiana. Bayonne is a larger town of about six thousand with all services and buildings for whites uptown, and all those for blacks in the back of town. There were schools, movie theaters, and nightclubs in both the white and black sides of town, but the

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