Harper Lee: Go Set a Watchman (2015)


So, I was coming back from the Christmas holidays and feeling a bit sad about having to return to work and routine again, felt like having a treat, so I bought myself this book from the Stockholm airport while waiting for transfer. I hadn’t really heard of this book because the fame and glory seems to be taken by ‘How to Kill a Mockingbird’. I love sequels so it was great to read about the familiar characters again. I think with the mockingbird book, I complained how unrealistic it was that a small girl, the protagonist, was too smart and political for her age. Well, now she was 26 and it made more sense, and somehow I could relate to her much more, being  25-year old living far from home myself. And also being a bigot!

Whereas with mockingbird it felt like the book had a lot of layers, and secret learning goals hidden behind the different things the kids went though, this one seemed more like one direct message to give out obviously though Dr.Finch’s strange lectures and comments. I am not sure how effective I thought his methods were and that I would have been convinced after getting a slap that would have almost knocked me over though. I am just very surprised that it was taken so easily, and as a learning curve by Scout that her uncle hit her. For me, this would have been pouring petrol into fire, and I would have probably never come back and talked to any of them again.

Well, from the beginning, when the book described the feelings Scout had when returning home on a train, I often felt this sensation before when going home more rarely as well. Returning home, you often find that everything should be as you left it, and it feels very upsetting to see that people are going on with their lives and there are some changes. I did not understand much the courtship Scout had, and did not think it added too much to the plot as I would find it very unlikely that living away for so long, and visiting rarely, you would be able to maintain this kind of relationship without developing another in your daily life, but hey, this is America in the close past.

I think the book did actually make me think of how I myself can never agree and understand that other people have other opinions that seem so wrong to me. I just have to go and argue and I hate it when people come up with racist or sexist or any -ist comments of sorts and then justify these things with invalid arguments or though demagogy. I think I am similar to Scout in that I need to understand that not everyone has experienced and seen what I have to form my view of the world as it is, and perhaps there is no concrete right and wrong.. or.. even if there is, everybody still is entitled to their own view, and there is nothing you can do about it when they are stubborn as well, and want to believe what they believe.



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