A common theme in my writing, one of the things in my writing has been about someone teaching someone younger something about life. Miss Jane does the same thing, and in Of Love and Dust I did the same thing, and a short story called “Three Men,” we got the same thing. Someone is teaching somebody. Catherine Carmier. It was not always a teacher, but an older person, a much more wise person teaching a younger person about life, and I’ve always wondered in schools what were — what did we teach anyone? What did we teach people in school? Surely, when I went to school, I was taught reading and writing and arithmetic. The teacher — I only had one teacher in this classroom — and he could not have taught me anything about pride and about my race or history of Africa or whatever. He couldn’t teach me anything. He didn’t have time to teach anything other than the basic things: reading, writing, arithmetic. So I tried to combine the idea of teaching someone something and a young man who is innocent of a crime. I’d try to bring those two things together. And what does this young man owe the world — to the world — when he’s going to be executed for a crime he did not commit? What does he owe to the world? What does he owe to himself, when they think that he’s a piece of nothing? That’s all he’s been taught since a small child, growing up on a plantation, such as the one I created for that. He’s never been given love, except by his godmother.