In the novel ” A Lesson Before Dying”, Ernest J. Gaines puts focus on the drastic change of Jefferson’s life, a young black man after he is unfairly sentenced to death.
In the subsequent text, the narrative technique in the chapters from 1 to 6 will be analysed.
One can say that the narration is done by a first person narrator and that his knowledge is restricted (p.7l.7ff.). Grant Wiggins includes his own feelings and interprets the others’ actions , so the consequence of identifying with him is provided for the reader (p.15, l. 1ff.). In addition, his telling is supported with flashbacks which differ. The first one describing the accident and the happenings in court is presented in detail as if the narrator is to be omniscient( p.7, l. 25-p. 12,l.26.). In this description of different positions, there is no valuation to guarantee objectivity, I suppose. Another flashback is to find in chapter 3 where Grant’s childhood is shown (p. 19, l. 31 – p. 20, l. 15) but here judging is remarkable since he says ” I could not imagine this place, this house, existing without the two of them (Miss Emma and Tante Loue) here”(p.20, l.7f.). In the course of the plot, the story is told in Grant Wiggin’s view anyways and according to his feelings, his past and his thoughts or also inner monologues, one is capable of identifying with the protagonist.