No... not the novelist is a tool... that has been discussed enough thank you.
Through out history, the novel has been one of the most important tools of social change. From Dickens to Hugo to Harper Lee, and so many others, the novel has been instrumental in changing the world. Stories of children working in sweat shops (not sweets shops), of injustice, racism, and inhumanity have, it seems to me, been more effective than almost any other medium at affecting changes in public perceptions resulting in real changes in society and culture and eventually in law.
Now I know, I have poked at this question from a half a dozen different directions, because, to be quite honest, it not only interests me and justifies my spending time writing up these questions, but because I am convinced that the novel, can be, is, should be, even sometimes must be more than just entertainment, it is a tool for social commentary and change. It has an irreplaceable value.
Now, before I lose myself and pontificate upon all of this, as is my wont...
Why is the novel such an effective tool for changing hearts and minds?
What is it about the form of the novel that makes it have such an impact?
In what ways do you think other media are better at this than the novel?
What story(s) do you think have changed society and the world?
Are there any novelists working today that you think are effecting social change?
Have you ever read a novel that was too heavy handed in its attempt to be relevant?
Did you finish it?
Where is the line between propaganda and literature?
Do you think important, society changing novels are written on purpose? Or are they serendipitous magic?
Do you choose books because of their social impact, or do you shy away from stories that have an agenda?
As always, this isn't the place for self promotion.
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