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A Lesson Before Dying Chapter 13

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

In Chapter 13 of ''A Lesson Before Dying'' Grant explores an important part of becoming an adult. In this lesson, we will look at what Grant believes and how it is different from his family's beliefs.

Chapter 13: Overview

Breaking away from you family's beliefs can be an odd experience. Whether it is something small like eating habits, or something big like religion, it can make you feel guilty or strong or rebellious. In Chapter 13 of A Lesson Before Dying Grant reflects on how he has broken away from the church and what that means to him.

Aunt Lou Goes to Church

The beginning of Chapter 13 finds Grant seeing his Aunt Lou off to church. As she leaves, and he stays behind, he reflects on how she no longer gives him a certain look that she used to. It is the look that she gave Grant when he first told her that he no longer believed in God. Grant told her that he did not want it forced on him, and that if she tried, he would leave the house. She didn't want him to leave, so she let it go for the most part.

After Grant's aunt is on her way to church, he sits back down to continue grading papers. Grant tells us that he had actually started grading them much earlier, but had to stop since his aunt spent the entire morning before church singing her favorite hymn. She started at 6AM and didn't stop until 11AM, when it was time for church.

Aunt Lou Asks About Jefferson

As Grant sits back down a second time, his mind keeps wondering back to Friday night when he spoke with Miss Emma, his aunt and Reverend Ambrose. In his memory, He enters his aunt's house and sees the three of them sitting at the kitchen together. It is dark except for some light coming from the inside of the opened stove. Grant looks at them and decides he is not interested in dealing with whatever they have going on, so he grabs some water and tells them he will be in his room. His aunt has other plans and demands that he comments on how Jefferson is doing. Grant just tells her that ''He was all right.'' Clearly, this is not the answer she was looking for. She presses him further and he tells her that they both ate some food and talked.

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