Study Guide

A Lesson Before Dying Tough-o-Meter

By Ernest J. Gaines

Tough-o-Meter

Base Camp (3)

A Lesson Before Dying is a good story, well told. It is straightforward and fairly easy to understand. You might run across some pronunciations that are new or Cajun words that you haven't heard, but context clues will help you through the rough patches. The only sleuthing you might have to do is in the chapter that quotes directly from Jefferson's diary—his spelling and punctuation isn't MLA-approved. Try reading it out loud: it's way easier that way.