SparkNotes: A Lesson Before Dying

Learner Outcomes/Objectives: Students will learn how to use, analyze and interpret foreshadowing and characterization through showing rather than telling.

Rationale: The first seven minutes of utilize details which foreshadow the adventure the two women are about to experience and thoroughly reveal character. These techniques can then be shown in written literature.

Description: The film begins with somber, yet inviting music that looks upon a dark road leading as in "infinite regress" to a distant mountain. The scene lightens to brilliant colors which then begin to fade as the credits finish. Eventually, all is dark except for shadows of clouds above the mountain tops. Quickly, the scene changes and we see Louise waiting tables and Thelma in her kitchen at home. Their personalities are clearly portrayed by what is shown as they decide to take the trip and do their packing.

A Lesson Before Dying portrays the past as both a hindrance and a source of motivation.

Gaines novel A Lesson Before Dying, a young African-American man named Jefferson is caught in the middle of a liquor shootout, and, as the only survivor, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.


SparkNotes: A Lesson Before Dying: Key Facts

Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, possesses a similar attitude toward race relations.

MYTHOPOEIA (Greek "myth-making" or "myth-poetry"): (1) J. R. R. Tolkien's neologism for the deliberate creation of artificial , especially the incorporation of traditional mythic into current fiction, whether that fiction be something akin to Virgil's propaganda in The Aeneid, the Romantic poetry of William Blake, or the fantasy literature of C.S. Lewis or Tolkien himself. Tolkien connected mythopoeia with his theological doctrine of (q.v.) (2) Tolkien's poem of the same title, which he wrote in response to an argument he and the other Inklings had regarding C.S. Lewis' atheism shortly after September 19, 1931. C.S. Lewis initially felt he could not believe in a literal resurrection of Christ because the narrative pattern in the Gospels echoed much older myths about sacrificial dying gods, as detailed at length in Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough. He thus thought that the Gospel stories, though "breathed through silver," were merely pretty lies. Tolkien's counter-argument was that, even though much older versions of the story existed before the time of Christ, that did not matter. Tolkien argued that, what God did in the incarnation and crucifixion was to take the older stories and make them literally true. Our older myths expressed man's deepest longest for redemption and resurrection, and that God chose to fulfill those ancient desires by giving Christ to humanity--and thus the older myth could be made flesh and walk among us.