“Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?”
– Ernest Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying)
Ernest James Gaines is an African-American author whose works have been taught in college classrooms and translated into many languages. These are the beliefs Gaines had that led to the fundamental purpose of writing A Lesson Before Dying. Gaines wanted to make a character that questioned the status quo. Who wanted to change things, just unsure how to go about it.