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A Lesson Before Dying Character List & Flashcards

A Lesson Before Dying Character List & Flashcards
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Matthew Antoine in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a Creole man who is the plantation's, and Wiggins', former teacher. While teaching, he encouraged students to leave the South because of the oppressive conditions.
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Henri Pichot in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a white plantation owner and Tante Lou and Miss Emma's former employer. He is the sheriff's brother-in-law and convinces the sheriff to allow Wiggins to visit Jefferson in prison.
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Reverend Mose Ambrose in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is the African-American pastor of the plantation church. He and Wiggins are often in conflict over their differing beliefs about the significance of religious faith in people's lives.
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Alcee Gropé in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is the white owner of the town liquor store. He refuses to sell Brother and Bear liquor on credit; they attempt to rob him and he is killed. Jefferson is falsely accused of killing him.
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Bear in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a young, African-American man with a bad reputation in town. He and Brother are good friends and are responsible for the robbery at the liquor store. He is killed in the robbery attempt.
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Brother in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a young, African-American man known for being a troublemaker in town. He shoots and kills Alcee Gropé in the attempted robbery of the liquor store, but dies during the fight.
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Vivian Baptiste in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Wiggins' Creole girlfriend who works as a teacher in a Catholic school. She has an estranged husband and two children. She is supportive of Wiggins' efforts with Jefferson.
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Tante Lou in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Wiggins' elderly aunt. In her youth, she worked as a cook on the plantation. She is protective and deeply religious. She encourages Wiggins to help Jefferson find dignity prior to dying.
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Miss Emma Glenn in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Jefferson's elderly godmother whom he calls 'Nannan.' She asks Wiggins to teach Jefferson to die with dignity. She and Tante Lou are good friends. She is kind and deeply religious.
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Jefferson in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a young, African-American who is wrongfully convicted in the murder of a white liquor store owner. Miss Emma is his godmother.
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Grant Wiggins in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
The African-American narrator who returns to his hometown to teach. His secular view of the world creates conflict throughout the story. He helps Jefferson gain self-respect before his death.
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23 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

This flashcard set covers basic information about the characters in the novel, 'A Lesson Before Dying' written by Ernest Gaines. These cards provide information on all of the major and several of the minor characters in the novel. The cards feature each character's name, as well as a brief description of each character's role in the plot.

Front
Back
Grant Wiggins in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
The African-American narrator who returns to his hometown to teach. His secular view of the world creates conflict throughout the story. He helps Jefferson gain self-respect before his death.
Jefferson in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a young, African-American who is wrongfully convicted in the murder of a white liquor store owner. Miss Emma is his godmother.
Miss Emma Glenn in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Jefferson's elderly godmother whom he calls 'Nannan.' She asks Wiggins to teach Jefferson to die with dignity. She and Tante Lou are good friends. She is kind and deeply religious.
Tante Lou in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Wiggins' elderly aunt. In her youth, she worked as a cook on the plantation. She is protective and deeply religious. She encourages Wiggins to help Jefferson find dignity prior to dying.
Vivian Baptiste in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Wiggins' Creole girlfriend who works as a teacher in a Catholic school. She has an estranged husband and two children. She is supportive of Wiggins' efforts with Jefferson.
Brother in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a young, African-American man known for being a troublemaker in town. He shoots and kills Alcee Gropé in the attempted robbery of the liquor store, but dies during the fight.
Bear in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a young, African-American man with a bad reputation in town. He and Brother are good friends and are responsible for the robbery at the liquor store. He is killed in the robbery attempt.
Alcee Gropé in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is the white owner of the town liquor store. He refuses to sell Brother and Bear liquor on credit; they attempt to rob him and he is killed. Jefferson is falsely accused of killing him.
Reverend Mose Ambrose in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is the African-American pastor of the plantation church. He and Wiggins are often in conflict over their differing beliefs about the significance of religious faith in people's lives.
Henri Pichot in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a white plantation owner and Tante Lou and Miss Emma's former employer. He is the sheriff's brother-in-law and convinces the sheriff to allow Wiggins to visit Jefferson in prison.
Matthew Antoine in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a Creole man who is the plantation's, and Wiggins', former teacher. While teaching, he encouraged students to leave the South because of the oppressive conditions.
Sheriff Sam Guidry in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is the local sheriff in charge of the prison in which Jefferson is held. He is Henri Pichot's brother-in-law.
Edna Guidry in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Sam Guidry's wife and Henri Pichot's sister.
Inez Lane in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is the maid in the Pichot household who replaced Miss Emma.
Louis Rougon in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is a wealthy friend of Henri Pichot.
Joe and Thelma Claiborne in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
This couple owns the Rainbow Club, a local hangout of Wiggins. They have a good relationship with their patrons.
Irene Cole in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is Wiggins' student teacher.
Dr. Joseph Morgan in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is the superintendent of the local schools. He is a white man who is more concerned with the quality of education at the white schools than with that of the plantation school.
Miss Eloise Bouie in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is an elderly friend of both Tante Lou and Miss Emma.
Peggy in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
She is a coworker of Baptiste's from the Catholic school. The two are also friends.
Deputy Paul Bonin in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
A young, white deputy at the prison where Jefferson is incarcerated. He becomes friendly with Wiggins during the course of the visits with Jefferson.
Henry Martin in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is imprisoned at the same facility as Jefferson and is often rowdy and boisterous when Wiggins and Miss Emma come to visit.
Farrell Jarreau in 'A Lesson Before Dying' by Ernest Gaines
He is an African-American employee of Henri Pichot. He serves as Pichot's groundskeeper and messenger and is very subservient to him.

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