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When did Miss Jane Pittman die? What year and month did she die?

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bre910 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 4, 2008 at 3:06 AM via web

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When did Miss Jane Pittman die? What year and month did she die?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 4, 2008 at 3:17 AM (Answer #1)

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Miss Jane Pittman is a literary not historical figure. She is the product of Ernest J. Gaines who wrote the story as a supposed interview with Pittman, who had lived 110 years. According to his novel, Pittman was born sometime around the Civil War and lived until the beginning of the civil rights movement in the 1960's. This would place her imaginary death around 1969. However, the book ends in the 1960's.

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mimi083 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 20, 2009 at 4:58 AM (Answer #2)

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Around the late 1960s

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plumbsue | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 28, 2009 at 9:02 AM (Answer #3)

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I believe that they said that she died in July 1962 in the movie, "The Autobiograpy of Miss Jane Pittman"

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:36 AM (Answer #4)

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Jane Pittman, a fictional character and narrator in Ernest J. Gaines's novel "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" is 110 at the start of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 60s. I don't believe the novel states that she died.

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mrweiner | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2010 at 5:13 AM (Answer #5)

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According to the Introduction, Jane was interviewed in the summer of 1962 and in the school year following.  She ostensibly died about eight months after the last interview.  So this leads us to some time in 1963 or 1964.

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seaofknowledge | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted April 4, 2015 at 2:43 PM (Answer #6)

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Jane Pittman dies in July 1962. The 1974 film adaptation of the book gives July 19, 1962 as the date on which Jane Pittman dies.

Many readers assume that Jane Pittman was a real person since the book is her autobiography. But she is in fact a fictional character. She is 110 years old when she dies in 1962, so she was born in the year 1852. 

Jane Pittman is a slave and she lives long enough to witness the end of slavery in the US, as well as the Civil Rights Movement. 

Her life is told in a series of flash-backs as she describes her memories which are tape recorded. Jane Pittman dies some time after the recordings are completed.

The author of the book was inspired by the lives of several real life people when he developed the fictional character.

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