Ernest J. Gaines Essays

  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

    978 Words  | 2 Pages

    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines Vancil initiates the criticism of A lesson Before Dying in an old-fashioned, excessive religious genre of attitudes. He claims that Grant Wiggins is reluctant to atonement for guilt to uphold the Christian faith belief system within the Quarters, the small community of Wiggins’ residence. Wiggins has just evolved into the Diaspora of African-American people whose adapted a new way of thought and forever changing lifestyle alterations ranging from the

  • A Lesson before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

    1988 Words  | 4 Pages

    A Lesson before Dying, one of Ernest J. Gaines later works, was written in 1993. Some of his earlier works include A Gathering of Old Men and In My Father’s House. The novel covers a time period when blacks were still treated unfairly and looked down upon. Jefferson, a main character, has been wrongly accused of a crime and awaits his execution in jail. Grant, the story’s main protagonist must find it within himself to help Jefferson see that he is a man, which will allow him to walk bravely to his

  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

    1878 Words  | 4 Pages

    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines This book shows us that, even in the face of hopelessness, there is indeed hope, and there is a need to move forward. There is nothing that can change what the outcome will be in the end. However, in light of this, a person is left with two options. Either they could deny and fight it the entire way, or accept it, learn from it, and move forward. This paper will show you,, when given this situation, what the outcome will be when one choices to accept

  • Becoming a Man in A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

    848 Words  | 2 Pages

    in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”-MLK Jr. In the book A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines explores the relationship between a student and a teacher in Bayonne, Louisiana, in the 1940s, and how their actions affect the society they are living in. Jefferson, a young black man, is accused of a murder, and is sentenced to death because

  • The Evolution of Grant in Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying

    2722 Words  | 6 Pages

    After the Civil War ended, many blacks and whites, especially in the South, continued living as if nothing had changed with regards to the oppression and poor treatment of African Americans. Narrator Grant Wiggins, of Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, possesses a similar attitude toward race relations. Through his experiences with a young man wrongly accused of murder, Grant transforms from a pessimistic, hopeless, and insensitive man into a more selfless and compassionate human being who

  • Universal Themes In Ernest James Gaines's Life

    747 Words  | 2 Pages

    own life. Ernest James Gaines, the author of numerous remarkable books in today’s literature, is a great example of a writer that parallels his life with his work. Specifically, Gaines chooses to focus on his depiction of Southern society back then (and now) to express his beliefs. In addition, his viewpoint of his African American community and background also allows him to communicate deeply universal themes of faith, courage, and dignity with his words. Therefore, Ernest James Gaines is the author

  • Jane Pittman Autobiography

    1177 Words  | 3 Pages

    Ernest J. Gaines uses fiction in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman to write a history of the African American life from 1861 to 1961. Jane was a young African American slave involved in war. The violent history of slavery portrays so many aspects of American history. This novel takes place during the Civil Rights Movement. In“ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” themes such as slavery, discrimination, and the Civil rights progression are a few of the historical occurences that take place

  • A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines

    1012 Words  | 3 Pages

    on-going vicious cycle of misery. The novel A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines depicts the social and racial injustices faced by African Americans in the South in the late 40... ... middle of paper ... ...erican Civil Liberties Union, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014. "Civil Rights for Minorities During and After World War II." Civil Rights for Minorities During and After World War II. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014. Gaines, Ernest J. A Lesson Before Dying. N.p.: Vintage, 1994. Open Library. Web. 10

  • Dignity and Sacrifice Depicted in Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying

    693 Words  | 2 Pages

    In Ernest J. Gaines novel A Lesson Before Dying, a young African-American man named Jefferson is caught in the middle of a liquor shootout, and, as the only survivor, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. During Jefferson’s trial, the defense attorney had called him an uneducated hog as an effort to have him released, but the jury ignored this and sentenced him to death by electrocution anyways. Appalled by this, Jefferson’s godmother, Miss Emma, asks the sheriff if visitations by her and

  • Racism in A Lesson Before Dying

    1671 Words  | 4 Pages

    racism displayed in the novel. Ernest J. Gaines weaves an intricate web of human connections, using the character growth of Grant Wiggins and Jefferson to subtly expose the effect people have on one another (Poston A1). Each and every character along the way shows some inkling of being a racist. However, Paul is an exception. He treats everyone as if he or she is equal to him whether the person is black or white. In A Lesson Before Dying, author Ernest J. Gaines displays the different levels of

  • Theme Of Religion In A Lesson Before Dying

    1336 Words  | 3 Pages

    Ernest J. Gaines once said, “We all know- at least intellectually- that we are going to die. The difference is being told, “Okay, it’s tomorrow at 10 a.m.” How do you react to that? How do you face it? That, it seems, to me, is the ultimate test of life.” Throughout literature, a common pattern of allusion directly relating back to Jesus Christ, his death, and the Bible is found. One such novel, A Lesson Before Dying written by Ernest J. Gaines, follows the story of a poor, black working man and

  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

    835 Words  | 2 Pages

    Introduction According to his biography, Ernest J. Gaines grew up in Oscar, Louisiana on a plantation in the 1930s. He worked picking potatoes for 50 cents a day, and in turn used his experiences to write six books, including A Lesson Before Dying. While the novel is fictional, it is based on the hardships faced by blacks in a post Civil War South, under Jim Crow and 'de jure' segregation. In A Lesson Before Dying, the main story line is a sad tale in which a young black man named Jefferson, is wrongfully

  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

    1268 Words  | 3 Pages

    Ernest J. Gaines book, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, used many historical events to connect to the characters story. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was published by Bantam Books in 1972 and has 259 pages. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a classic fictional book. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is the story if a women’s life told when she was over one hundred years old. The novel goes over 3 main periods of time: war years, reconstruction, and slavery. In The Autobiography

  • Reading between the Lines

    668 Words  | 2 Pages

    the story stronger. Ernest J. Gaines is a very effective storyteller through his use of symbolism. He shows symbolism through the hog, food, and the notebook. To start off, the first symbol to have significant meaning is the hog. During the trial when Jefferson is being accused of robbery and first degree murder, Jefferson’s attorney attempts to find him innocent by humiliating him and making fun of his intelligence. Saying he doesn’t have a “modicum of intelligence” (Gaines, seven) to commit a crime

  • A Lesson Before Dying Character Analysis

    710 Words  | 2 Pages

    Ernest J. Gaines 1933 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, is African American fiction set in the town of Bayonne, Louisiana. In his novel, Gaines tells the story of an educated black teacher, Professor Grant Wiggins, who is sent to teach a wrongly convicted young man put on death row, Jefferson, how to “be a man” before his execution. Throughout the novel, the development of the relationship between Grant and Jefferson concludes in a positive correlation with the development of both individual characters

  • A Gathering Of Old Men Analysis

    1714 Words  | 4 Pages

    H. G. Wells words of wisdom, “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today” can be seen throughout Ernest J. Gaines’ novel, A Gathering of Old Men. This novel takes place on a 1970’s Louisiana plantation where African-Americans are still suffering from the effects of slavery. Their dignity has been stripped away from them because of their color. After years of taking this abuse, the discriminated unite when an incident occurs in which the plantation’s boss, Beau Boutan, has been murdered by the hands

  • A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines

    645 Words  | 2 Pages

    In A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, the conflict was capable of developing through the impact of the characters’ corrupt atmosphere and subordinate settings. As an African-American man who is facing a sentence between life and death, Jefferson receives a grand amount of discourteous reactions and bigotry attitudes. Throughout the 1940’s and beforehand, the issue of discrimination and African-American inferiority was, unfortunately, highly ordinary. Considering that the meetings and court

  • Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying

    1666 Words  | 4 Pages

    A Change for The Better Born in 1933, Ernest J Gaines is an African-American author whose many novels share a common theme: “the search for dignity and masculine identity in a hostile, racist environment.” (Cliffs Notes) The focus of this essay will be on his 8th piece of work, A Lesson Before Dying, and this fictional novel is no exception. Published in 1993, Gaines brings us to the fictional community of Bayonne, Louisiana, in the 1940’s where the story of Jefferson, a convicted black man, is told

  • Manhood In Ernest J. Gaines A Gathering Of Old Men

    879 Words  | 2 Pages

    In the novel, A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines, there are fifteen different narrators, and they all play an important role in the story. Each of the narrators interprets the murder of Beau Bauton in a different point of view, expressing feelings and experiences. The impactful themes of manhood and taking action embodies the word “Change”; the ongoing struggle for social equality, casting away their slave mentality, and the methods of agricultural production that affects the plantation as

  • Racism In Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying

    1190 Words  | 3 Pages

    In Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying a man is sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit because of his skin color. His Godmothers dying wish is that Jefferson dies a man. She elects Grant, the community educator to help mold Jefferson into the hero that he is destined become. Grant and Jefferson undergo many conflicts that metamorphose their friendship. Each of them as individuals has beliefs that bring them closer or tear them further and further apart. The overlaying theme of race and