Wow, I don't know why you were reluctant because you just worded all the points I wish I had in a much more put together and concise way.
I agree on all points, though. It's not that I want less of the social issues and social justice themes, I'd have just liked them to be better handled. I would have rather liked them shown to me instead of told to me in rather large expositions of one individual talking on a tangent to two other individuals (haha you know what I mean?) and then doing it again later.
That really rubbed me the wrong way as a writer myself. I think there are better ways to handle social issues and I don't think making big speeches like that was one of them. Ironically speaking...
I mean, well, yeah it is a good way to hammer in a theme like that, but only if it's got the required build up needed for a powerful, moving speech that ultimately sets the tone for the climax of the story. And it's usually set toward the end, not in the middle, where the audience is usually shown first hand the issues that are to be corrected later in the story. The conflict here, well, it was given to me rather than built up in a way that let me deduce what's happening beneath the surface layer of conflict.
I dunno. I love the social issues that ZS likes to write about mainly because they have to do with someone like me and it gives me the choice to not make that kind of story a tragedy. I just wish this time it could have been handled with more tact than it was given, you know? Still a wonderful writer. Still love his work. But this one's on the bottom of that list and it came after such a successful finale that it's hard not to criticize and compare.