Many characters of the age pale in comparison to The Wire, but if any other deserves explicit exploration, it is James “Jimmy” McNulty. While McNulty is rich in his own right, he is particularly interesting in comparison to the viewpoint characters of Dickens. As Dickens progressed from his “picaresque” adventure-style novels to his more serious explorations of society, so too did his central protagonist evolve. And yet, instead of gaining in complexity, Dickens’ viewpoint characters dwindled—in personality, idiosyncrasy, any unique or identifying traits.
Both our Constitution and our common law guarantee that we will be judged by our peers. But in truth, there are now two Americas, politically and economically distinct. I, for one, do not qualify as a peer to Felicia Pearson. The opportunities and experiences of her life do not correspond in any way with my own, and her America is different from my own.