Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Go Set a Watchman

by Harper Lee

I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and loved it. Then I saw the movie and loved it even more and watched it over and over because the story is just that good (not to mention Gregory Peck). Then I read the book again later just to remind myself that the book really is better than the movie, and yes, still loved. If you have this same love for Atticus and Scout and Jem and Boo then no matter what I say you will feel drawn, obliged even, to read Go Set a Watchman, and if I could dissuade you I would. But I know you'll read it, so be forewarned.... you'll never see Atticus and Scout the same way again.

In this story, Scout isn't Scout, she's Jean Louise. And that's good because it helps separate that beloved girl from this horrific adult version of her who is always angry to the point of being mean. And Atticus isn't Atticus either. Lee doesn't gently take him off his pedestal, she knocks it out from under him causing him to crash hard on the ground. And there is no Jem or Dill or Boo. In their places are Hank and Aunt Alexandra and Uncle Jack, none of whom are engaging or even really likable. There also isn't a great story that subtly tears down racism and class culture, instead there is a lot of preaching and yelling and hate.

I wish Harper Lee would have kept this hidden as it was. I wish I hadn't read it. I hope when I watch TKAM again all will be restored. 

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to name Bode Atticus so bad. Dodged a bullet on that one! I love that you have gone ahead and acknowledged that everyone is going to read it anyway. I, for one, am looking forward to reading it just so I can hate it!