In The Normal Heart's depiction of actual events, Ned, an obvious stand-in for Larry Kramer himself, is a live wire, exasperating and infuriating in his relentless drive toward progress in the early fight against AIDS. The 2011 Broadway production and recent movie adaptation have revealed a more likable Ned in the hindsight of 20 years passing. Knowing how many of his tactics worked makes the means easier to justify — at least in the context of Kramer's version of the story. So if this skewed tale romanticizes AIDS activism, then good, perhaps we younger generations need that to be inspired out of complacency and into action.
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