Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Review: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

*Contains Spoilers*

Going into Go Set A Watchman I didn’t have many expectations, I had seen many mixed reviews. The book opens with Scout going to visit her aging father. The first half of the book we see the same comfortable, small town life that Scout is use to, but half way through Scout’s views start to change. Scout realizes how much things have changed since she left. Atticus isn’t the hero that she always thought him to be. Scout has been living in New York, and her eyes have been opened. Her world has been expanded.

In TKAM, Atticus is the hero, where in GSAW, he’s the fallen hero in Scout’s eyes. The dynamic between Scout and Atticus really change in this book. In truth, I think Scout was very immature and didn’t give Atticus a chance to explain his actions with the KKK meetings. It clearly states in the book that he had an agenda. He always wanted to keep an eye on his enemies. He wanted to know whose faces were under the hoods. I felt like Atticus was a product of his time. I felt like he thought the blacks weren’t ready in terms of education and leading. He wasn’t completely against it, he wanted what he thought was best. When Scout asked Calpurnia if [she] hated them, and Calpurnia hesitated, I felt like that spoke volumes about the times. I don’t doubt that Calpurnia loved Scout and Jem but they lived during a divided time, and the waters were murky. 

The rewrite of GWAW into To Kill A Mockingbird was fantastic. I didn’t feel like GSAT was really necessary. In my opinion this was not a sequel, it was a first draft. It did feel like a rough draft, it felt unorganized, and unedited. I loved that Scout was appalled that Atticus would support segregation, it shows the growth in her and in her generation. At the same time, I feel like she should have let Atticus explain. There’s a new class in the South, and Scout will be the one to see it. Atticus won’t be around to see the aftermath. I loved the childhood flashbacks within the story, I felt like I saw TKAM peak through. The starting of a great classic was hidden within those passages. I’m glad I read GSAW but I didn’t love it.

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1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I've pretty much decided to skip this one.