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Ernest J. Gaines, A lesson before dying

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  1. A brief reminder of Jefferson's tragic situation
  2. The impact of Jefferson's diary
  3. Jefferson, an innocent hero?

"A Lesson Before Dying" was first published in 1993. It was written by E. J. Gaines. He is a Southern writer. Most of his novels are historical fictions and also a social commentary from an Afro centric point of view. His novels often deal with alienation and search for dignity and masculine identity in a racist and hostile environment. "A Lesson Before Dying" is no exception: the scene takes place in Louisiana in late 1940's. The main character Jefferson is a 21 year old uneducated black man accused of robbery and first-degree murder. He has been convicted to die in the electric chair. Six months have passed since Jefferson's trial in October 1948. He has only three days left before his execution: "Its munday an I ain't got bu just a few days lef". So he basically writes about his feelings and thoughts in his diary; and he also writes about his situation, that is to say his imminent death.

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