Harper Lee’s sophomore novel lacks believability

Photo Courtesy Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune

Photo Courtesy Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune

By Kaylin Evans

Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” is a disappointment to fans of its preceding novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lee’s second novel takes no time at all to completely unravel the misconception that Atticus Finch is the good man that fans of her classic novel thought him to be. In this novel, Finch is depicted as an avid racist, even going as far as to attend meetings of the Citizens Council, which, in this story is essentially a gathering of KKK members.

Forgetting the success of Lee’s first novel, this book is still not as good as it could be. It is filled with errors that beg to be corrected and does not seem very well put together. The publishing of this novel seems hasty and it leaves loose ends within the story that are never fully dealt with.

The main character, Jean-Louise (known as Scout in the first novel), has matured greatly since the events of the first novel. Because of this, she is no longer the lovable person that she once was. The times where she does seem like her old self are evident through forced Scout-isms that she quickly recovers from and returns to being the lackluster, uninspired version of herself.

The positive side to the publication of this novel is that it contributes to the current discussion on racism by displaying racism in its purest form. “Go Set A Watchman” seems very incomplete and for the sake of the reputations of both Harper Lee and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” should not have been published; at least, not without further revisions.

Rating: 2/5

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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