Thursday, July 16, 2015
Go Set A Watchman
I did not specifically want to read this book, but my wife pre-ordered it and all of the sudden, voila! it was here. I opened it and so began my journey of horror and disbelief.
Like Maureen Corrigan, I don't believe that this book is a prequel to "To Kill A Mockingbird". No, instead I believe that it was a failed sequel, deemed unpublishable by her editors back in the day. Now of course, the money grab is too tempting to not toss an unedited hodge podge of racist apologist tripe, with a huge dollop of supposed state's rights on top, into the summer reading mix. Oh happy day!
Atticus Finch, inspirational and beloved character, a man of character, from "To Kill A Mockingbird" here is not just a pale shadow of his former self, he no longer behaves like himself. Did his recent stroke cause brain damage*? That might explain why now he no longer exhibits any of the qualities that made him a champion for those wronged or unjustly persecuted. Simply, he is no longer a man of reason. He has become a most unreasonable man, despite all of his arguments to the contrary. Following the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. The Board of Education striking down segregation, apparently even the wisest of men lost their heads and took up the charge of protecting their way of life.
If you are highly offended by liberal use of the n-word, gird your loins because the last half of the book is doused in it. Scout, or Jean Louise as she's most often referred to here, is mortified by what she finds around her on a trip home from New York City, but after her uncle backhands her and knocks her nearly unconscious, she comes around to their way of thinking...kind of. I cannot tell you how appalled I was by this turn of events. Blatant violence employed when someone doesn't get on board with your racism. Nice.
Since my wife teaches "To Kill A Mockingbird" to her 9th grade English students, she pretty much has to read this book, but I should've left it on the table. I recommend that you do just that.
* It occurs to me that he didn't have a stroke, so I've got nothin'.