A Lesson Before Dying

Ernest J. Gaines

Chapters 3–5

Summary Chapters 3–5

In these chapters, we see that Grant is a man divided—from his family, from his friends, from himself—due to the deeply scarring environmental influences of racism. The conflict between Grant and his community shows that while racism attempts to lump people into categories and degrade them as indistinguishable members of a particular group, human beings differ from one another. Not all blacks experience or respond to racism in the same manner, and these differences can result in conflict and misunderstanding—misunderstanding that must be healed before the family and the community can strengthen themselves against further oppression.