Study Guide

A Lesson Before Dying Chapter 11

By Ernest J. Gaines

Chapter 11

  • At the courthouse Grant runs into the sheriff. He asks him if he's getting anywhere with Jefferson and Grant says he doesn't know.
  • After jumping through all the hoops (the pat downs, the searches, etc) Grant gets to Jefferson's cell.
  • He gives him the food that his godmother sent, and Jefferson won't eat it because he says it's for humans and he's an old hog.
  • Finally he says he'll show Grant how an old hog eats, and he sticks his head in the bag and eats without using his hands. It's a depressing version of "Look, Ma! No hands!"
  • Grant says that he won't tell Miss Emma what Jefferson just did because it would hurt her. He also tells Jefferson that if he quits coming to see him that will mean the white man had won.
  • They sit for the rest of the hour in silence until the deputy comes for Grant.