The Good Thief: A Novel

by Hannah Tinti

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Which literary lens best fits The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti?

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The literary lens that best fits The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti is Marxism.

The notion of the "literary lens" is a controversial one, since it risks turning literature into evidence for a political or critical theory. However, when used in a sensitive and sparing manner, the literary lens can illuminate both the text and the theory applied to it. The main literary lenses applied by critics include feminism, psychoanalysis, new historicism, reader response theory, and Marxism.

Marxism is the most suitable literary lens for The Good Thief because the text raises a number of social, political, and economic issues within a historical context. In particular, there is the contrast between Benjamin Nab and his small-time criminal career, in which Ren is quickly embroiled, and the much more systemic and exploitative capitalist crime symbolized by McGinty's mousetrap factory. Even the title of the novel opens up a Marxist debate about the idea of good and bad types of theft and the way in which some are socially sanctioned, while others are permitted or encouraged.

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