Go Set a Watchman occurs appx 20 years after Scout and Jem experienced the events of To Kill a Mockingbird, with 26 yr old ScoutThere’s spoilers here!
Go Set a Watchman occurs appx 20 years after Scout and Jem experienced the events of To Kill a Mockingbird, with 26 yr old Scout (aka Jean Louise) coming home from New York City for a 10-day visit.
For me, the book spoke mostly about the awareness that maturity brings when the veil of blind faith is removed from our eyes and we see loved one (our pedestal people) in a more realistic pragmatic view. It’s a painful process to realize that, “Hey, my so-and-so cusses or is two faced, or is a heavy drinker, or has fundamental prejudices that I didn’t see as a kid because they were my rightness in this world.” That of course doesn’t happen with everyone, but it’s painful when it does. And it does; case and point: Awkward Photos. We all thought we were posing so nice with those matching outfits, awful hair and 10 cats at the time….now we look at them and wince (and laugh and say our mother forced us to pose that way.)
There was so much more to this story: commentary on the civil rights of course (you can’t have a southern novel and not have race issues). I love the struggle Jean Louise feels from the community expecting her to be “Scout” but she wants to break free from their imposed mold … and yet Henry embraces the mold given to him. Southern manners, female rights, and on and on. I thought the story was chock full of good juicy stuff.
Her visit to Cal broke my heart, and I felt not enough attention was given to that situation…. But this was not a story solely focused on the civil rights “stuff”, and we were left to look at that situation from a more birds eye point of view(?)
One thing I couldn’t figure out – why did this book get written…now… so, of course, I googled, and read lots of really interesting things: this book was written before TKAM, that Atticus truly was a bigot all along, the meaning of the biblical term “go set a watchman”, and some really good interviews with Harper Lee. The backstory to this story is as interesting as the story itself.
I also read that the New Yorker writer thinks the book would never be pubished in today’s society (uhm, but it was ??)…. I disagree very much on that, and feel that this book is a great followup to TKAM. The book was crafted more than written…and this alone makes the book read-worthy. This is a thought provoking story, and one that I appreciate mostly for watching Jean Louise fight for distance from Scout. ...more
This story, for me (I just spent some time reading other reviews and SparkNotes to see if what I thought was going on was really going on…and apparentThis story, for me (I just spent some time reading other reviews and SparkNotes to see if what I thought was going on was really going on…and apparently, there was a whole lot more going on than I picked up on!), had two main themes. One being young boys advancing toward a war and how they processed this. The other being the friendship or rivalry between Gene and Finny.
Gene seemed like such a paranoid character at times, that I felt he was not deserving of a friend such as Finny. But on the other hand, I’m not sure I’d have wanted to tolerate such a distracting person as Finny as a roommate…. My sympathies flip flopped between the two until the passage in Chapter 4 when Gene recognizes his own jealousy toward Finny. Who hasn’t had a friend that they’re a bit jealous of? …and yet, we all should know not to push them out of trees or off ledges…
The war, looming in the background of the boys’ lives gets closer and closer as they advance through school. That’s got to really mess with a kids head; knowing that if you don’t join up you’ll be enlisted and sent right to the front lines… that is some scary stuff.
This was an interesting read. I read reviews about imagery that I wished I’d picked up on as I was reading…. Do authors really think of imagery as they’re writing their stories? …what came first the story or the imagery? Sometimes I think the imagery is there because we can make it fit…. But I don’t know, maybe there are writers that are just THAT gifted. I think this story is one that could be full of intentional imagery. ...more
Reading A Paris Wife, and then following up with A Moveable Feast was a great idea for me, since I knew nothing about Hemingway to begin with and A MoReading A Paris Wife, and then following up with A Moveable Feast was a great idea for me, since I knew nothing about Hemingway to begin with and A Moveable Feast on its own was slightly confusing. I filled in lots more questions with internet articles, and this one in particular was very interesting: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cu...
There were things I liked and things I didn't like about this book. I like that Hemingway could describe a moment and put me there…on a snowy slope watching a fox, or on a rainy corner walking through Paris. I didn't care so much for his diary-like writing style of this story…but I think that was his plan to describe Paris the way he saw it when he was loving Hadley and being the self-proclaimed "very very good writer" that he saw himself to be.
I'm still curious about Hemingway…and now, after reading this, I'm very curious about the Fitzgeralds as well!...more
I wish I could've read this book when I was in a short-story course in college. That was a great class, and this would've been a fabulous story for diI wish I could've read this book when I was in a short-story course in college. That was a great class, and this would've been a fabulous story for discussion. Short stories really are an amazing genre. This particular edition comes with a "Closer Look" … several pages after the story talking about Thurber, his life, his writing and the times in which this little story was written. I loved that information and read the story a second time after reading about the influences Thurber lived within as he wrote this. So interesting about "the little man" and the domineering wife-figure. ...more
This book is being released as a movie soon. The trailer looked fun and interesting, so I read the book.
Halfway through the book, I thought I hated tThis book is being released as a movie soon. The trailer looked fun and interesting, so I read the book.
Halfway through the book, I thought I hated this story, and had to force myself to get through the entire thing. But, really I mostly just dislike Dean Moriarity and the way he takes advantage of people…I don’t think much of his friends, either. My constant thought throughout this story was, “Dean, please just get a job and stop being an inconsiderate freeloader.”
Before reading this story, I had no idea of the Beat generation, or anything about the culture of that time in America. And maybe that’s a part of the reason I cannot relate at all to guys traveling all over the country in stolen vehicles, freeloading and stealing to get by, and taking advantage of women constantly. No….I wouldn’t like that stuff no matter what year it is/was/would be. To me, the writing was terrible. How did this book get so famous? Was it just because at the time it was so different?? I don’t get that. I would never have chosen it to be considered a classic. But then again, maybe that’s because I don’t and cannot relate to the Beat generation?
So while I really really really dislike the characters in this story, there were things that I did like. I liked reading about the travels. I liked reading about the places I’ve been, and loved reading about the places I haven’t been (especially Mexico). There were lapses of really poignant writing – especially about lonely landscapes, lonely travels and lonely people – that were good. They were short blips buried in the rambling garbage of this story. I think Jack Karouac must’ve felt loneliness deeply to be able to pull those feelings out the way he did. I do wonder if he was using Dean to find a story…. And that was underlined at the end when Jack snubbed Dean to be with his snooty rich friends. How sad. Two users rolling along the highway together, hurting people and ultimately each other. Why does this make me so mad?? Since this story was based on his own experiences, I really hope that they both managed to grow up and stop hurting people.
I am still googling topics to try to figure out how this book became such a success, because I just don’t get it. It’s got to be related to the culture of the era…..still searching. ...more
Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth are sisters growing up with loving parents in American poverty. While they struggle financially to make ends meet, their parentsMeg, Jo, Amy and Beth are sisters growing up with loving parents in American poverty. While they struggle financially to make ends meet, their parents love them and teach them family values, strong work ethics and how to navigate through life finding happiness and contentment in the midst of pain and struggle. What a great story.
I surprised myself when reading all the happy ending "stuff" and felt a bit skeptical...then was surprised and disappointed in myself. I guess that's just an indication of all the UNhappy endings I've been reading lately. This story was refreshing, and so relaxing. I loved reading about a family that deeply loves each other and appreciates each other. Great story. ...more
What a thought provoking story about prejudicial barriers as well as the importance teachers have on the lives of their students. To have had a teacheWhat a thought provoking story about prejudicial barriers as well as the importance teachers have on the lives of their students. To have had a teacher that taught you about yourself and helped you learn and believe in yourself is truly a gift. We often hear about how teachers touched someone's life in an extremely positive way, but this story is told from the vantage point of one of those teachers. I loved having a fly-on-the-wall view of this amazing teacher's journey with his class and learning about his thoughts and emotions as the teacher-student relationships evolved....more
Loved it. I'm surprised this story was written in '38, and I hadn't heard of it till now. The mystery, while a bit predictable, was played out with suLoved it. I'm surprised this story was written in '38, and I hadn't heard of it till now. The mystery, while a bit predictable, was played out with such great eeriness and foreboding that I didn't care that I'd figured it out. I did find that reading Chapter 1 again after turning the last page was even more interesting, and I recommend everyone else do the same...just for the fun of it....more