Go Set A Watchman

Dear Harper Lee,

I have finished reading your recently published book "Go Set A Watchman" after it's much anticipated release, as To Kill A Mockingbird is my favourite book and reading it makes me happier than eating ice-cream. Thank you for bringing it into the world. But today I would like to discuss the book I first mentioned.

To Kill A Mockingbird is your blissful, innocent childhood, filled with sunshine and free afternoons and ice creams and sprinkles on foods that aren't even dessert. Go Set A Watchman is like all the conversations your parents had about finances and paying the bills, you never knew about, too busy playing with Barbies and too little to care. 

There's good reason for my analogy above. TKAM was directed from a child's eyes. GSAW was narrated by an adult's. There is a clear distinction. 

I shall officially begin my letter with a grand headline that was glued to the inside of my mind for the last 3/4 of the book.

Atticus Finch has been tarnished.

Some would say it is better to look up at the sky to understand the thunderclouds. To walk out your doorway and become learned of the worlds problems, to rid yourself of childish innocence and leave behind all the daisy chains you used to make in the sunshine of your play garden. In many regards this is true, and sometimes inevitable, for enlightenment burns your eyes before you can look away. But if everybody chased after this all-knowing, this being weathered to the issues and downfalls of life, then why do we have fairytales? Why did we invent these happy, perfect fictional realities? Why do we treasure them so much, if enlightenment is supposedly preferred to naivety? Cinderella and her Prince Charming did not get hit by a tornado, and swept into their grave prematurely, did they? How did they live? Happily ever after. No blood, sweat and tears, just glitter and probably a lot of special effects.

I am very grateful my mind has been expanded over the years I have lived and that I do not put my peers on pedestals anymore, nor revere any of their decisions, for everybody is human and everybody makes mistakes. 

Except for Mr. Finch.

He is of perfect character, the absolute gentleman, the sparkling fruit loop in a world full of cheerios. I even wrote a college essay about him, and it got so deep the teacher who graded it probably needed a spade to get out of it and to get to their lunch break. Do I now have to painfully backspace every letter, every sentence of loyal adoration, even the height of my praise: Atticus captured my heart. 

In your book, if I may remind you, Scout gets incredibly upset when she finds out that Atticus has joined the Klan after seeing him a meeting. She feels so queasy that she ends up puking her ice cream. 

She heard her father’s voice, a tiny voice talking in the warm comfortable past. Gentlemen, if there’s one slogan in this world I believe, it is this: equal rights for all, special privileges for none.

The one human being she had ever fully and wholeheartedly trusted had failed her; the only man she had ever known to whom she could point and say with expert knowledge, “He is a gentleman, in his heart he is a gentleman,” had betrayed her, publicly, grossly, and shamelessly.

Scout is very disgruntled, as she believes that negroes should have equal rights, including the right to vote, just as much as white people do. She argues:

“You deny them hope. Any man in this world, Atticus, any man who has a head and arms and legs, was born with hope in his heart. You won’t find that in the Constitution, I picked that up in church somewhere. They are simple people, most of them, but that doesn’t make them subhuman.” 

Atticus listens to her, patiently and quietly. He defends himself with such...
“Now think about this. What would happen if all the Negroes in the South were suddenly given full civil rights? I’ll tell you. There’d be another Reconstruction. Would you want your state governments run by people who don’t know how to run ’em? Do you want this town run by—now wait a minute—Willoughby’s a crook, we know that, but do you know of any Negro who knows as much as Willoughby? Zeebo’d probably be Mayor of Maycomb. Would you want someone of Zeebo’s capability to handle the town’s money?"
Scout lives in confusion for a lot of your book, and you tell us that this is due to the fact that "she was born colour blind." After finishing the book this phrase stood out to me, and I can't stop thinking about how brilliant it is and how much significance is displayed in those few words. Congratulations on this literary win, I shall give you a mini salute. 

Too many articles have said that in this book Atticus is discovered to be racist, but I refuse to believe this. All those times he waited in line behind Negroes can't have been mere courtesy. Racism doesn't have manners. 

I repeat my question: Do I now have to painfully backspace every letter of my college essay?

No. I most certainly do not have to change my essay or change my attitude of hero worship. In this book, Atticus just becomes more human, and less saint-like. His point of racism was purely economic and he mentions that his joining the Klan was just to see who was on the board. It is painful to witness this. I will not shy away from that point. But I am glad I read this book, for it is like watching the finale of your favourite TV show, it may leave you sad and a little heart broken, but the journey was complete in its richness, and instead of the characters staying as acquaintances you met at Taco Bell, they become your fully fleshed out, utter best friends. 

My highest respect to you, Harper lee.

From Madison 


  1. These photos looks so nice and comfy!
    I love snuggling with a nice book and a warm drink.
    I've never read any of Harper Lee's books to be honest. But they are on my to-read list since they are must read classics.


  2. I love your blog! It's so tidy and beautiful! Keep up the good work. :)


  3. Yes! To kill a mockingbird is one of my favourite books despite having studied it in high school!

    Great post hun very well written xx

    Would love if you would check out my page and let me know your thoughts! I've recently worked with Sony Australia and have just uploaded my Video Diary from the Hamilton Islands - let me know what you think :)

    Helen xx

  4. This is a great blog! liked it very much =)

  5. Awesome blog, I can tell you have put a lot of work into this! :)

    Lily xxxxxx

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  7. Great post! I would love it if you could check out my blog and let me know what you think x Also, please follow my blog and I'll follow yours! I've already tried however there was an error? So just leave a comment and I'll remember to get back to it! Thanks x


  8. Love your blog! It is soo cute! Great posts by the way! http://justlittleellen.blogspot.co.uk

  9. I am going to download that book now, I'm excited but nervous to read it!


  10. The perfect cozy place to read this world famous book! xo

    adorn la femme

  11. These are some of the best pictures I've seen on a blog.
    Love the style of them!

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  12. The pictures are just totally cool !! amazing blog !! :) <3 !!!

  13. Love your blog! I've just purchased this book in preparation for finishing my exams :) You've made me SO excited for it. I run a style/travel blog over at http://thisisyugen.blogspot.com.au/ if you have a spare moment i'd love to get your opinion on it :)

    x Elle

  14. beautiful pictures! please check out my blog www.justaddgloss.blogspot.co.uk

  15. Lovely photos! Looks so cozy :)
    Photography blog: https://katiphotographyblog.wordpress.com/


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