There are so many different ways I could talk about Go Set a Watchman, and I'm not sure that any of them would do this book the justice it deserves. SThere are so many different ways I could talk about Go Set a Watchman, and I'm not sure that any of them would do this book the justice it deserves. Suffice to say, this book is the literary equivalent of Dorothy pulling back the curtain to discover the Great and Powerful Oz was just a little old man from the Midwest.
Many of my friends have shied away from reading this because they can't deal with the sensationalism the of the newspapers and blogs declaring "ATTICUS FINCH IS A RACIST." Well, sorry to put it to you, but yes he is, and he was when he was in To Kill a Mockingbird as well. That's not the point of the story. What I took from the story were two things 1) This is a personal journey of discovery for Jean Louise Finch and realizing that she has to become her own person and stop idolizing her father and 2) Everyone's a little bit of a bigot. Atticus is a little bit racist and a lot a bit honorable, Jean Louise is young and righteous in her realization people aren't simply people to all people (that makes sense in my head).
Of course I want to say, but Atticus is wrong and his views are backwards. But the first person to stand there and let me say that would be Atticus. As Voltaire supposedly said "I do not agree with you but I will defend your right to say it with my life." It gets into a very messy discussion of Constitutional rights, States Rights, Free Speech and so forth. I think Harper Lee actually does an incredibly good job of explaining this whole convoluted issue in an ordinary understandable manner. I also personally think that this book was released on a specific time table and that either she or her caretaker is an incredibly canny person. Not that there is anything wrong with that. This book would not have sold when she was originally writing, but has the opportunity to make a big impact in people's way of thinking today. At no point do I feel that she is trying to say that slavery or racism is right, but instead saying that everyone has a duty to themselves to think for themselves and not just blindly follow the beliefs they were told to follow. Not everyone is ever going to get to a point where they entirely completely agree with everyone else, but we need to get past the yelling at each other and not listening to anyone stage to actually move forward. There are also some things in here that are just plain dated, but she wrote this nearly 60 years ago, its bound to happen.
I think this is a very well written, poignant piece of literature designed to make people think. I think, also, that it will shatter some people's love for To Kill a Mockingbird but that doesn't make this book any less important in the field of modern literature. To some people I'm sure they think its just filth. I enjoyed it, it made me think and learn some things, and I found it both pleasant to read and entertaining....more
I really enjoy the Outlander novels because Claire and Jaime are so well described and complete. Their inner lives and motivations are right there toI really enjoy the Outlander novels because Claire and Jaime are so well described and complete. Their inner lives and motivations are right there to be discovered and it keeps the stories engaging and interesting. I understand that their time apart has impacted the people they became during the 20 year absence, but I felt a little bit like every single time that something Jaime did in his past came up, Claire had to have a major freak out about it. The first time was understandable, but 3 or 4 times during the course of 1000 pages felt a bit much. For someone that professes to love her husband regardless of what he's done in the past, she's not very level headed about him living his life while he thought she was dead.