Study Guide

A Lesson Before Dying Chapter 18

By Ernest J. Gaines

Chapter 18

  • On the day of her next visit, Miss Emma sets the table for four people in the dayroom.
  • Jefferson has a hard time walking because of the shackles, but he joins his aunt, the Reverend, and Tante Lou there.
  • Jefferson won't eat, though, which hurts Miss Emma.
  • A couple days later Grant goes up and visits. He tries to get Jefferson to talk about the Christmas program and moral obligations, but Jefferson is pretty preoccupied with his execution, understandably.
  • Grant asks Jefferson to be kinder to Miss Emma. They sit in silence for the last part of the visit.
  • Paul asks Grant how the visits are going. He really doesn't know, but it's what Miss Emma wants so he's doing it.
  • After his visit Grant drives to Vivian's school and takes her to the Rainbow for a drink.
  • They cancel their plan for hanky-panky in Baton Rouge because Grant's been having some trouble in the bedroom ever since he started visiting Jefferson. Understandably: the dude is stressed.
  • Once again, Grant The Broken Record asks Vivian to run away with him, and she says no. Again.
  • He says that he's not helping where he is, that nothing's changing. She says something is changing.