CliffsNotes on Gaines' A Lesson before Dying

CliffsNotes on Gaines' A Lesson before Dying

CliffsNotes on Gaines' A Lesson before Dying

CliffsNotes on Gaines' A Lesson before Dying

Excerpt

Set in the fictional community of Bayonne, Louisiana, in the late 1940s, A Lesson Before Dying tells the story of Jefferson, a twenty-one-year-old uneducated black field worker wrongfully accused and convicted of the robbery and murder of a white man, and sentenced to death by electrocution. At his trial, Jefferson’s court-appointed defense attorney argues that Jefferson lacks the intelligence to plan a robbery, and that, even if he had been involved in the killing, sentencing him to death would be like putting a hog in the electric chair. In spite of this so-called defense, the all-white jury finds Jefferson guilty. To compound the horror of his situation, Jefferson internalizes the attorney’s racist depiction of him as a dumb animal.

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