Gide grew up in a protestant familly in a catholic environnement, which lead him to revolt against puritanism and rigid moral (generally atribute to protestants in catholic society).
Gide travelled often in Africa and stood against european imperialism. He tried to justify his own acts and his complex personnality through his books (Si le grain ne meurt, Corydon) and define in Les nourritures terrestres his anticonformist ideal. This ideal leads logically to Gide's idea of free act (define in Les caves du Vatican).
Gide created La nouvelle revue littéraire in 1908 and most important writing are probably his diary (that he kept daily for over forty years) and letters to Paul Valery and to Claudel.