You might have heard that this book has been rather divisive. To be honest I can see why. When I read To Kill A Mockingbird I thought if there was to be a sequel to it, it would be quite hard to top. The sequel came out and with it news of Harper Lee’s passing and the fact that she had written Go Set A Watchman before her Pulitzer prize winner, unfortunately and most surprisingly I was on the disappointed side.
However there are positives and negatives to this book. There is the main character ‘Scout’ who remains as relevant today since To Kill A Mockingbird was first published. She has a lot in common with the great majority of us around the world, in that, she hates racism and can’t believe that it still exists. In some respects, we have made progress to stomp racism out but we haven’t achieved it yet – there is still hope that we can make it. Firstly, the act of Scout bringing the civil rights movement from New York to her hometown has its own benefits and repercussions. Of course it’s brilliant that she has brought the movement to her hometown, but playing the blame game hardly does anything for those living there or those returning. Things only change when we see a problem and decide to fix it. How we make the most change is how we choose to respect one another.
Shouldn’t we leave racism in the past where it belongs – in the 20th century? It just reeks of history repeating itself and to be honest it’s dull and dangerous. I’m not a hippy preaching peace and love. I’m a borderline-normal human-being who just wants to see and experience acceptance rather than hatred and division. I’m glad that Scout is willing to stick up for herself and doesn’t believe that she is going mad. She is proud to be “colour-blind” in that she doesn’t want to have prejudice against those of a different background to her. White priviledge has never got us anywhere, it just breeds more hatred on top of what is already there.
Atticus and Jack Finch have attitudes which are of their own era (our grandparents’ age). It’s backward-looking but accurate and makes the foundation of acceptance and equality shown in To Kill A Mockingbird redundant. There is particular unsatisfaction with Henry’s attitude which is just too wrong and that he has spent too much time under the guidance of Atticus. No wonder the civil right’s movement took off because of people with his attitude.
Buy a copy for yourself and let me know what you think.
Don’t forget to like, comment, share.