Character Analysis: A Lesson Before Dying

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A Lesson Before Dying 1. A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines, 1993, 256 pages 2. A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. The story started in a courtroom where a black man named Jefferson was being prosecuted for assisting in a robbery in which a white man was killed. Jefferson was judged by white men and was referred to as a hog throughout the court session. He insisted the he was innocent; he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but a verdict was reached and Jefferson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by electrocution. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to a plantation school for black children to teach. As he struggles to decide whether he should…show more content…
I think that Mr. Wiggins is the protagonist of this story. My first impression of him was that he wasn't very caring. When his aunt first proposed the idea of talking to Jefferson he was reluctant and said that it wasn't a part of his job. "What can I do? It's only a matter of weeks, a couple of months, maybe. What can i do that you haven't done the past twenty-one years?"(Gaines pg.13)I believe the antagonist would be Jefferson. His mindset that's keeping him from acting like a man subdues his emotions and throws himself into despair. My first impression of him was that he was an innocent man, but he's being punished anyway and that makes him depressed. “Nothing don't matter"(Gaines…show more content…
What I like about it is the dialogue and how descriptive the author is with his words. The thinking is complex and really pulled me into the story. For example when Mr. Wiggins explained what a hero was and talked about God to Jefferson. What I dislike about this book is the lack of impact. Personally, I like a story that can keep me on my toes and make twists and turns that surprise me. This book however walked a straight path with the only obstacles being racism and the despair that Jefferson felt. What kept me reading was the joy of watching a, predictable yet pleasant, story

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