Presentation on theme: "A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines. Ernest J. Gaines ~Ernest J. Gaines was born in 1933 on the River Lake plantation in Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana."— Presentation transcript:
A Lesson Before Dying By Ernest J. Gaines
Ernest J. Gaines ~Ernest J. Gaines was born in 1933 on the River Lake plantation in Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana -this was the setting for most of his fiction -he was the fifth generation in his family to be born there.
Typical Black School/Church ~At the age of nine, Gaines was picking cotton in the plantation fields ~He attended the black quarter's school -held classes only five or six months a year. -his writing is greatly influenced by these experiences
~For several of his childhood years, Ernest Gaines lived with a great-aunt in rural Louisiana.
~He would listen to the talk of the older people sitting on his aunt's porch ~Their speech gave authenticity to the voices of such characters as Miss Jane Pittman.
~Gaines left Louisiana at 15, ~He returns regularly to remain connected to the life there that is so central to his writing.
A Lesson Before Dying: Setting ~St. Raphael Parish Louisiana ~Late October, 1948 until two weeks after Easter 1949
Characters Jefferson Grant Wiggins Miss Emma (Nannan) Glenn Oscar Glenn Tante Lou Brother Bear Alcee Grope Vivian Baptiste Reverend Mose Ambrose Sheriff Sam Guidry
Characters, cont. Edna Guidry Paul Bonin Chief Deputy Clark Henry Martin Henri Pichot Matthew Antoine Inez Lane Louis Rougon Joe Claiborne
Places to Remember St. Raphael Parish Bayonne Rainbow Club Pichot Plantation St. Charles River
Important Events The murder of the store clerk The trial Defense Attorney calling Jefferson a “hog” Grant telling Jefferson what a hero is (Pg.191)
Important Events, cont. Grant telling Jefferson about a myth (Pg. 192) The preacher telling Grant that he is not educated if does not know about lying. (Pg.217)
Lessons Grant Learns ~Black men have failed to protect their women since the time of slavery. ~Each time a male child is born, they hope the vicious circle will be broken.
Background Events that have affect on Story ~Grant runs away to get an education and save his own sanity and to have a life of his own. ~Miss Emma and Tante Lou want a chance to see a black man stand for her. (Reread Pages 166-167.)
The Movie An HBO movie Won the Best made for TV movie in 1999. Rated PG13
Themes in the Book: 1. Social Justice 2. Social Transformation 3. Social Reconciliation
Something to think about: What is a hero?
Ernest J. Gaines, in his own words: "We all know--at least intellectually--that we're 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.”
The Jim Crow South A Lesson Before Dying is set in the “Jim Crow South” What is the Jim Crow South? – "Jim Crow" laws barred African Americans from access to employment and to public places such as restaurants, hotels, and other facilities. In the South especially, Blacks lived in fear of racially motivated violence.
Battling Jim Crow Cases against Jim Crow were broken into 3 catagories: 1. segregation, 2. civil rights, and 3. disfranchisement.
Segregation cases: are those related to separating the races in public and private places such as schools, trains, amusement parks, and the workplace.
Civil rights cases: address the many instances where the constitutional rights of non-whites were abridged or challenged, such as a citizen's right to a fair and speedy trial or to participation in juries.
-Disfranchisement cases: focused on laws and actions that deprived African- American citizens and other non-whites of their rights to vote, often through poll taxes, literacy tests, and residency requirement laws.