A Lesson before Dying Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Miss Emma asks Tante Lou why _____ hates her.

2. Who does Grant remember as someone who took great pride in his heritage?

3. Who does Grant hear calling his Tante Lou from the road?

4. What did Miss Emma do when Jefferson said he is a hog being fattened for the slaughter?

5. What does Grant apologize for?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Jefferson offer to Bonin as he is preparing for his death?

2. What happens when Grant asks Vivian what would happen if someone on the school staff saw what she had written on her blackboard?

3. Why is Reverend Ambrose jealous of Grant?

4. Who is the one who decides when Jefferson will be executed, per Grant?

5. What happens on the day of the fourth visit to see Jefferson?

6. Jefferson tells Sam Guindry that he will meet Tante Lou, Miss Emma and Reverend Ambrose in which room?

7. What does Grant think about heaven and what happens after you die?

8. When the truck carrying the electric chair moves through town, how does the town react?

9. When Jefferson writes about Samson, what is the question that springs into his mind?

10. What does Grant do after he snaps at a student?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Grant is waiting to talk to Vivian about the good visit he had with Jefferson, he overhears a conversation about Jefferson by mulatto bricklayers and reacts violently. Why do you think he reacts this way? Do you think there was another way for him to react to their comments? Why do you think the bricklayers said what they said?

Essay Topic 2

In the beginning of this novel, the narrator is unknown to the reader. Why do you think this was done? Do you think this added to or took away from the manuscript? When the reader finds out that the narrator is Grant Wiggins, does this change the perception of the story?

Essay Topic 3

The notebook is something Grant and Jefferson share in their visits toward the end. How do you think this journal helps Jefferson? How does this help Grant? If the notebook had been given to Jefferson earlier in his jail stay, do you think it would have helped him move through his anger more easily? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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