What is Jefferson's last name?

4 Answers

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I don't think Gaines gives the character Jefferson a last name in A Lesson Before Dying. His godmother is named Emma Glenn, but she is not a blood relative. I've read the book and several critical essays, but I cannot find a last name. Perhaps that was intentional. One of the things Grant uses as an argument against teaching Jefferson to read is that he has no relationship to Jefferson; he has no obligation to him. By not having a last name, perhaps Jefferson could be said to "belong" to everyone and is everyone's responsibility. Just a thought.

lunawolf1996's profile pic

lunawolf1996 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The author,Earnest J. Gaines, of "A Lesson Before Dying" did not give Jefferson a last name. He is named only as Jefferson and is one of the main characters that make up this amazing,intriguing novel.