We are almost DONE with A Lesson Before Dying. If you aren’t …. shame on you.
Using historical references to support ideas, explore the statements that A Lesson Before Dying makes about the following themes:
Racial Injustice: “They sentence you to death because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, with no proof that you had anything at all to do with the crime other than being there when it happened” (p. 158).
1. Has Jefferson been treated unjustly? Would a young white man in the same situation have been punished as severely? Why or why not?
2. How have Grant, Tante Lou, Miss Emma, and Reverend Ambrose suffered from racial injustice? How has each responded?
Commitment: “Commitment to whatto live and die in this hellhole, when we can leave and live like other people?” (p. 29).
1. Why doesn’t Grant leave? Why did he come back after he left the first time? Why wont Vivian support his desire for both of them to leave?
2. How does Grant explain obligation to Jefferson? Why does he bother? Does Grant practice his concept of obligation?
Manhood: Do you know what his nannan wants me to do before they kill him? The public defender called him a hog, and she wants me to make him a man (p. 39).
1. How does Miss Emma define manhood? How does Grant?
2. The final entry in Jeffersons journal is, “good by mr wigin tell them im a man ” How does Jefferson define manhood?