Go Set a Watchman Go Set a Watchman question


85 views
Did i miss something?


@Kelly, your first impression is correct. There is no there there. GSAW was a first draft by a beginning writer, and should never have been published as a commercial novel.

GSAW was written out of existence as HL revised and rewrote the manuscript over 2 yrs and completed TKAM for publication. Manuscripts like GSAW are usually kept with the author's papers in research libraries for people to study the development of the author's work.


As a retired English teacher, TKAM is one of my all-time best favorite books ,and Atticus Finch is in my Pantheon of favorite contemporary male characters. I loved MOCKINGBIRD, and it's safe to say that I revered Atticus.
I was eager to read GSAW to see what all the negative hype was about and discovered that it was mostly unfounded: I still do not see Atticus as a racist just because he was a member of the town's citizen's council which brought in some racist speakers, although he was a listener, nor was he a participating member of the Ku Klux Klan ,although he went to one or two of their meetings to see who the men under the sheets/masks were, etc. He was a man, imperfect, yes, but still, with things changing in the South regarding the Negro during this time period, a man of integrity. I do agree that Jean Louise's reaction to what she saw/heard at that meeting was pre-judgmental, jumping to conclusions w/out facts.
I do applaud Lee's editor who asked her to put aside GSAW and re-work/re-write her story which turned into TKAM, a forever best-seller, one that captured the hearts of millions of readers. GSAW would have not been such a book, it would not have generated such a devoted following. I agree that as a first draft, GSAW suffered from many flaws , but I, for one, am glad that it was published, as is, so we witness the brilliant comparison of the two books. I "almost" wish that I were back in the classroom to be able to discuss this newest Lee addition for it will lead to much spirited debate!


No, you didn't miss anything. I found myself thinking the same thing at the end of this novel... was there a plot? It's just a woman goes home, finds that her father has feet of clay, has a break down, attempts to run away but then learns that it's stronger to stay and create a change. I think that's enough of a plot, but like you I was expecting ACTION. (at least that's what I'm hoping you meant, and if not I apologize for getting it wrong.) You are right to call her hotheaded, granted we first met her as a child, but I think passion like Scout has doesn't burn out and to say JL is hot-headed is dead-on.
What I did love was the expositional narratives. The third chapter begins with a really beautiful narration on Aunt Alexandra which I adored, especially since I thought the first two chapters were hard to read (bad dialogue).

5273055
Annemarie Donahue The folklore behind this is that it's a first draft, so that makes the lack of plot a little forgivable (at least a little). JL doesn't really resolve ...more
Aug 15, 2015 03:57PM · flag

deleted member Aug 15, 2015 06:13PM   0 votes
Don't read this book as a polished book - read it as a rejected manuscript for that's what it is. This manuscript gave rise to 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' It was never meant to be a prequel or sequel.


back to top