- In the novel’s opening lines Grant says, “I was not there, yet I was there. No, I did not go to the trial, I did not hear the verdict, because I knew all the time what it would be.” Why would Gaines open the novel in this way?
- A Lesson Before Dying is mostly narrated by the teacher Grant Wiggins from the first-person point of view. What important attributes does he reveal about himself in the opening chapters? What kinds of things does he conceal?
- Why hasn’t Grant left Louisiana, though he says he wants nothing more than to get away? What is he trying to escape?
Discussion questions to answer.