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Abigail Jones

Gardner

English 10 H

15 October 2016

Insight and Understanding of Ernest J Gainess A Lesson Before Dying

Boswell, Marshall, and Carl Rollyson, eds. "Gaines, Ernest J." Encyclopedia of American

Literature: The Contemporary World, 1946 to the Present, Revised Edition, vol. 4.

New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008.

Marshall Boswells biography of Ernest Gaines covers key aspects of Gainess life and

reveals the personal connections behind his novels. Boswell focuses on Gainess personal

experiences with racism and how these struggles have shaped his work. In telling of

Gainess life, Boswells overall theme of how hardship can lead to success frames the main

ideas contained in his article and thoughtfully expresses Gainess journey.

Boswell offers insightful information for those looking for factual material on Ernest

Gaines, his experiences, or racism. Below his original article, Boswell also has additional

information titled Studying Ernest J. Gaines, an accumulation of data specifically for

students. This information is especially useful to those reading Gainess novels. The data

provided connects Gainess experiences to several of his works. The clarity and wide range

of information contained in this article informs readers of the deep thought and experience

behind Gainess wide range of novels.


Brown, Anne Gray.Writing for life: 'Jefferson's Diary' as transformative text in Ernest J.

Gaines's A Lesson before Dying.

Anne Gray Brown, an english professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University,


writes this text on the dehumanization of Jefferson throughout A Lesson Before Dying. Her

criticism focuses highly on the twenty ninth chapter of the novel, the chapter that changed

perspectives from Grant to Jefferson. Brown notes that through writing in his journal,

Jefferson is able to regain some of his independence and humanity. She writes, Written in

the dialect of the 1940s, southern Louisiana region, Jefferson's Diary shows that while

language can be used to construct reality, it can also be used to deconstruct and redefine it.

Brown targets the language used by Jefferson in his journal and what the complexity it adds

to the storyline.


This article offers rooted, analytical criticism on A Lesson Before Dying and its many

compound characters. Because of its cohesion and strategic format, this article is accessible

to several audiences, including those who are interested in the thought behind Jeffersons

character, or those wanting to know more about the effects of language. Browns overall

tone and execution of this topic made it exceedingly informative, educating many on the

effects language can have on such a broad theme.

Gillespie, Carmen. "Congress of Racial Equality and Alice Walker." Critical Companion to Alice

Walker: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On

File, Inc., 2011. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc.


In this article Carmen Gillespie, a professor of English and director of Griot Institute of African

studies, offers insightful information on Jim Crow laws. She tells of an organization called CORE

that fought for the end of segregation in the southern United States. Through use of an academic

tone, Gillespie notes the copious struggles the organization faced, and the crucial achievements

they made.

The clarity with which Gillespie writes makes her article useful to those researching topics on

racism or the effects of segregation. Her use of intellectual, acute diction allows her writing to be

specific and precise. Gillespies use of details gives readers insight and understanding of what

segregated life was like for Jefferson and Grant in A Lesson Before Dying. Overall, by providing

this information, Gillespie is helping countless people understand the mental, physical, and

emotional toll segregation took those whom it affected.

Guzzio, Tracie Church. "Gaines, Ernest." In Samuels, Wilfred D., ed. Encylopedia of

African-American Literature. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. (Updated

2011.) Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc.

www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&WID=103186&SID=5&iPin=EAFL146&Sin

gleRecord=True.

This article by Tracie Church Guzzio, an educator of African American Literature at Plattsburgh

State University, illuminates Ernest J. Gainess many complex personal developments. Through

use of an academic tone, Guzzio peels back the layers of Gainess past and gives light to his

heartening history. Guzzio reveals Gainess humble beginnings, showcases his struggles, and

highlights his successes.


Guzzios article is full of varying material, telling the detailed story of Gainess life. This article

provides a wide range of information, from the complications of finding a voice, to the struggles

of being a successful author. Guzzio tells of Gainess progress both as an author and as a person.

She tells of the complications and experiences that lead to the creation of many of Gaines's most

complex novels. Guzzio maintains an academic, analytical tone while staying on the topic of

Gainess life, making this article accessible to many audiences -- those interested in Earnest

Gaines, or a curious young writer, pondering the qualifications of success.

Kaveny, Cathleen. "Justice or vengeance: is the death penalty cruel & unusual?" Commonweal, vol. 135,

no. 3, 2008, p. 9. Literature Resource Center,

go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=LitRC&sw=w&u=sant95918&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA176167277&

it=r&asid=abf1f54ce68053c299e32245b0d05028. Accessed 6 Nov. 2016.

In her article, Cathleen Kaveny, a professor at Boston College, addresses the death penalty and its

relation to the constitution. She writes of accusations against the penalty, stating it was cruel and

unusual punishment. Kaveny emphasizes the use of the conjunction and used in that phrase,

stating that to be unconstitutional, a punishment must be both cruel and unusual. She explores the

many sides of the disputed topic, discussing everything from the constitution to the current

policies, to the historic events supporting her opinions.

Kaveny expresses her opinions and thoughts on the death penalty through a collected and

academic tone, making this article very useful when collecting information on this topic. This

information closely relates to a large theme and conflict in A Lesson Before Dying. Many
audiences can benefit from the data and material presented in Kaveny work, especially those

looking into the many opinions revolving around the arguable topic. Overall, Kavenys article

proves to provide an accurate and sophisticated look into the controversial topic of the death

penalty.

Piacentino, Ed. The Common Humanity That Is in Us All: Toward Racial Reconciliation in Gaines's A

Lesson before Dying. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.

Piacentinos powerful article highlights the rare but important unity between the races in Ernest J.

Gaines novels. Piacentinos interpretation on several examples from Gaines novels reveal deep

truths and compelling underlying tones. Piacentino touches on a variety of purposeful topics,

ranging from essential characters to relevant symbolism, all while remaining focused on Gaines

message about unity in the segregated south.

Piacentino uses concrete diction to clearly inform readers on the varying displays

of racial unity in a time where such actions were unaccepted. For example: in A Lesson Before

Dying, the unlikely relationship between Grant and deputy Paul Bonin shows a sliver of unity

amongst a background of division. In an academic tone, Piacentino clearly addresses the

significance of these acts in Gaines's novels. The intillectual yet simple layout of Piacentinos

article makes it useful to those interested in racial divides or to a curious student. Overall, the

insightful theme, execution, and examples in this article make it interesting, impactful and

informative to a wide range of audiences.