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Go Set a Watchman
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Go Set a Watchman > The relationship between Jean Louise and Atticus

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message 1: by Mark (last edited Sep 18, 2019 02:17PM) (new) - added it

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
Describe the relationship between Jean Louise and Atticus at the beginning of the novel. Does Jean Louise idealize her father too much? How does she react when she discovers that her father is a flawed human being? How does this discovery alter her sense of herself, her family, and her world? By the novel’s end, how do father and daughter accommodate each other? Question provided by the publisher.


message 2: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Describe the relationship between Jean Louise and Atticus at the beginning of the novel. Does Jean Louise idealize her father too much? How does she react when she discovers that her father is a fl..."

The premise of the book is that Jean Louise has put her father on a pedestal from which he cannot climb down. Seeing him as a full-blown racist at the citizen’s council meeting is a shock that enrages her to all sorts of judgemental ranting. Perhaps the dynamic of having been raised by a single parent makes them particularly close and united against all other forces. Upon realizing Atticus is a racist, she feels betrayed. In more normal circumstances, I would think a person might feel disappointed but not so blindsided. It is normal for children to idolize their parents, and it is just as normal for children to rebel against them. It’s all part of the process of growing up. Eventually, we all have to make peace with our parents and accept that we are all flawed.

It is intriguing is that Jean Louise realizes the women at the Coffee and her aunt Alexandra are small-minded and racist. It bothers her but she expects it. You would think by the age of 26 Jean Louise would have a fuller understanding of her father than she does because she understands the dynamics around him.


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