A Lesson before Dying Criticism

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Gaines' sixth novel, A Lesson Before Dying, provides more support for his reputation as a talented writer. Since the 1964 publication of Catherine Carmier, his writing has served to present African-American culture in the same authentic light as the stories shared orally by the people who have lived them. Reading the stories of Ernest Gaines nearly equals having the experiences.

Critics agree that Gaines has a true sense of characterization. He asserts that his characters appear realistic because he has shaped them from people he knew while growing up on a Louisiana plantation. He cites the influence of Russian writers on his characterization. Russian writers relate stories about their peasant countrymen in a way that is caring, yet not cloying. These writers present truths without being harsh or disapproving. Gaines presents his people, his characters, in this same manner. He describes Southern blacks as he knows they truly are...

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This section contains 698 words
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Buy the A Lesson before Dying Study Guide
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