I have read “To Kill a Mockingbird” during the “depressive years of my life”. I can’t afford college, I had a hard time adjusting to the bigger city, I had cystic acne all over me, been mocked by my relatives continuously because of my decisions and worse, I got scared of myself because instead of being sad, I felt empty. Not anger or remorse, but hollow. That was when my mother dug her collection of classics and told me not to force myself to get back up again. But instead of moping around, she wanted me to read and learn while at home. It took around 15-20 books until I was slowly healing. But I will never forget Harper Lee’s work. (I didn’t really count the sequence of reading them.)
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the oldest tales book nerds know about. Which is why when I heard about Go Set a Watchman, I immediately approached the customer service ladies in every bookstore. It took me months until I got one.
The book was initially considered as a sequel and the first draft of Harper Lee’s TKAM. A few of our old loved characters have survived 20 years to tell us another story. Scout has become a lady with a beau. In this book, Atticus and his siblings play great roles in enhancing Jean Louise with the “appropriate ways” of becoming a woman. She has been a free-thinker ever since the first book which contradicts the traditional habits and regulations of adults.
There are so many things that changed in this book because of the adult nature compared to the young Scout’s point-of-view. Important characters like her brother, Jem and Calpurnia still hold a part of Scout’s childhood, making them the source of Jean Louise’s decision making.
This book is a whirlwind and an eye-opener for me. There’s a story between the two books that are slowly depicted in here, making me understand why the word “child” and “adult” may never be equal to each other. It may not meet the current times of internet and technology, it still is the same when it comes to upbringing, especially in traditionally-oriented countries like mine. Scout’s character here has been to the big city which makes her more independent. Same goes with our society that is clashing between tradition and change. Still, Harper Lee was able to give us some kind of open-ended closure to the characters we have admired as she highlights the relationship between a father and a daughter.
In memory of Harper Lee (1926-2016)