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He felt that the close first person perspective leaves the reader "too uncritically accepting of her worldview", and often leads reading and conversation about the novel towards supporting Jane.

Is the comma just for clarity here & accurate? When the conjunction joins a dependent clause can the comma be optional for clarity or is this example wrong ?

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    Punctuation "rules" vary. The comma was inserted there probably to give the reader a "mental breather". Although it is grammatical, it is not a very well written sentence. "leads reading ... towards supporting" is not good. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 11 '18 at 21:29
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Here is the parse:

He felt ||that the close first-person perspective ||leaves the reader "too uncritically accepting of her worldview" ||and|| often leads the reading and conversation about the novel in a direction that supports Jane.

there are two complements: leave the reader [etc.] + often leads to [etc].

They have equal weight structurally. Therefore, there should be no comma. There is a parallel structure.

As in: This leaves the reader wonder ||and|| often leads to confusion.

Same idea.

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