Chapters 1-3

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

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