Discrimination In A Lesson Before Dying

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A Lesson Before English
In the book A Lesson Before Dying the setting is in Louisiana in the 1940’s. Many people have the misconception that segregation of the races was only between African Americans and white people, but it was not. There was segregation also between the African Americans and the Mixed Race people or Mulattos. Ernest Gaines portrays the racial politics as caste system going on amidst the races. The caste system was white first, mulatto second, and Black last. This was a prominent problem throughout the book with no solution on fixing the racial issue at hand.
In A Lesson Before Dying, the large discriminators throughout the story were the white people. The main character Grant Wiggins, a teacher has that has to force himself to act lower in the presence on a white man. Whenever a question was asked his answer had to have
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Marrying someone that isn’t Mulatto looked down upon in their community. Vivian, Grant’s girlfriend did that and she was somewhat shunned by her family. “Her family had nothing to say to her husband and hardly anything to say to her. When her first child was born, she took the baby to visit. No one held the child or gave it a present or any attention. Her mother and her aunts wrote letters; there was no other communication.” (112)

The novel A Lesson Before Dying is a novel that puts different races in a certain status or rank from the highest to the lowest group.The white people in the book purposely humiliate the main character Grant Wiggins and give him zero respect, but expect him to respect them and lower himself to a way that they find suitable. The Mulattos feel as if they are higher in society than the blacks and will do any job to not work with them. Ernest Gaines’ novel shows a clear view of a fictional past in Louisiana that seems too real to be
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