A Lesson Before Dying: the Story
The story begins with a trial of Jefferson being accused of murder. During the trial his lawyer calls him a hog that is not even worthy of the death penalty. Ultimately Jefferson is sentenced to death by electrocution. During the weeks following Miss Emma, who is Jefferson's "nanan", wishes for Grant Wiggins, a young schoolteacher to speak with Jefferson and make him understand that he is a man. Although Grant refuses he is forced to go by Tante Lou, his aunt and a good friend of Miss Emma's. Upon their first few visits Jefferson is cold towards Grant and Miss Emma, obviously believing he is a hog, as the attorney has stated. He refuses food offered by his "nanan", saying that "food aint for hogs." After Frequent visits, Jefferson begins to open himself up to Grant and speak about his feelings. Once Jefferson trusts Grant he is able to realize that he is a man and not a worthless hog. Through helping Jefferson become a man, Grant has done his own unconscious soul searching which has helped him find who he is, and has found him a place with God.
Ernest J. Gaines was an African American writer who was born on January 15, 1933 in Oscar,