From the book A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines
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This novel chronicles not just Jefferson’s transformation, but also Grant’s transformation. By writing from Grant’s point of view, Gaines emphasizes Grant’s experience and transformation above the changes wrought in the other characters. Gaines could have used a third-person narrative, but Grant’s telling of his own story allows us to understand the self-deceptions, the insights, and the small moments of change that mark Grant’s gradual change. Also, because we likely identify with Grant more than with Jefferson, reading from Grant’s perspective forces us to imagine our own reactions to the impossible situation.