Grant's job as a schoolteacher puts him in the middle of many debates that raged at the time about what and how African-Americans should be taught.
Grant greatly values his status as an educated man, and believes that literature has the power to help people understand the world around them.
Grant drinks to avoid problems rather than cause them, but even this bad habit negatively impacts his relationships with Vivian, Jefferson, and Tante Lou.
The pervasiveness of alcoholism among the black and the white characters in the novel suggests that racism is only one of many social ills that the characters must overcome.
It also brings him into conflict with Reverend Ambrose, who believes that dignity can only come from faith in God--at the Christmas pageant, Ambrose even implies that Grant is no better than Jefferson, because neither man has faith.
By the end of the novel, both men learn from Jefferson that dignity is intrinsic and comes from loving and being loved, and does not come from external sources like religion or education.
Relationships, love, and loyalty are a few themes that Ernest J. The judge did not contemplate his decision on Jefferson's fate for long.
He was quick to make a decision that would affect the lives of many in Jefferson's community.
At the beginning of the novel, Grant views religion with disdain, acknowledging its important place in African-American culture while questioning its truth and its usefulness.
Although he never embraces Christianity, the events of the novel make him more aware of how religion can soothe the afflicted.