Thomas Hardy once described himself as a poet “who holds that if way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst”.
He was highly critical of much in Victorian Society and tackled such controversial topics as aristocracy and lower class, religious view vs. agnostic argument and the horrors of war. An example of the latter, and a particular favorite of mine, is below.
and staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.
His two most controversial books were Tess of the D'urbervilles and
Jude the Obscure. In these, he tackled head on, the difficult subjects of education for only the upper class and a woman's virginity. T. H's books were burned in public squares and his name vilified. After that, he stated that he would never pen another novel - which, much to the world's loss, he never did.
Which brings me to the all important question, "What is an author's responsibility, as far as his/her belief system is concerned?"
What is a human being's? How much of a person's opinion and hard-won core belief, should he or she divulge?
When should a person remain silent and when should they speak up?