Forgot your password?  

A Lesson before Dying Summary
Ernest Gaines

Everything you need to understand or teach A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines.

  • A Lesson before Dying Summary & Study Guide
  • 16 Student Essay
  • 1 Encyclopedia Article
  • 7 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more
  • 30 A Lesson before Dying Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

A Lesson before Dying Summary


Published by Knopf in 1993, A Lesson Before Dying is set in Louisiana. Considered a success by readers and critics alike, the appeal for most readers is derived from the intense emotions the story evokes. The author, Ernest Gaines, wants the reader to feel compassion for the young black man, Jefferson, whom jurors convict for a murder he did not commit. Nor can readers ignore the personal struggles of Grant Wiggins as he teaches Jefferson to be a man.

Gaines credits his boyhood experiences for his ability to develop lifelike characters. In an interview with Paul Desruisseaux for the New York Times Book Review, Gaines says he learned by "working in the fields, going fishing in the swamps with the older people, and, especially, listening to the people who came to my aunt's house, the aunt who raised me." His attention to the people he loves results in characters that...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The A Lesson before Dying Study Pack contains about 193 pages of study material in 30 products, including:

A Lesson before Dying Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

A Lesson before Dying Lesson Plans contain 111 pages of teaching material, including:

Follow Us on Facebook