A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines

501 Words3 Pages

A Lesson Before Dying Essay In the novel, A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines recounts the life and struggles of the colored people. He uses memories from his life to give personalities to the characters as well as give an accurate setting. Gaines revisited the south after he moved to California as an attempt to develop a story that related to his people. He used relatives that impacted in his life as models for some of the main characters. Ernest J. Gaines incorporated his life into A Lesson Before Dying through the characters, the setting, and the lifestyle of the colored people. Ernest Gaines used the most important people in his life as inspiration for the major characters. Gaines was raised by his disabled aunt, Augusteen Jefferson. She always took care of Ernest and never let anything bring her down. Gaines said that Augusteen was the most influential person in his life. This aunt provided the inspiration for many of the main characters in A Lesson Before Dying. The character of Jefferson was named after Augusteen Jefferson. Tante Lou and Miss Emma were also based off of Ms. Augusteen. Miss Emma and Tante Lou were both strong, female characters that only wanted the best for others. They took care of Grant and Jefferson even when they were in bad …show more content…

Ernest J. Gaines was the smartest child in his plantation when he was growing up. Gaines was sent to San Francisco to better his education. Grant Wiggins was also sent away for a better education because there were very few opportunities in Bayonne, his hometown. Grant came back to Bayonne to become a teacher, making him one of the smartest people in the plantation. Ernest Gaines would also stage plays when he was growing up (biography). Similar to Gaines, Grant Wiggins staged plays for his school. Along with the characters, Gaines used his history and personal experiences to develop a setting that others could associate

Open Document