|Some of my summer reads with Lego Indy|
Going back to the question: did I like GSAW? I can see why most people dont like it. As I stated in the beginning, the biggest beef most people are having is accepting that heroes aren't perfect. Yes I really enjoyed reading GSAW for many reasons. One of them has to do with Atticus. Atticus is old now suffering from arthritis but the biggest thing is that Atticus is a racist who joins a committee who fights for segregation between the blacks and whites. Atticus believes that "mixing" is wrong and can be the downfall of many things and it is even hinted that he may have been in meetings of the KKK. While I completely do not agree with what Atticus is saying, I liked seeing Atticus not be the hero of this story like in TKAM. This is the heart crushing below die hard fans of TKAM felt and the reader who has read that work feels all the feels through Scout who is crushed to learn the truth behind her father. This makes me think of everyone who said that they would not read GSAW because of Atticus being a racist and all who were crushed about Atticus who was a hero to them who looked up to Atticus; they all felt the crush Scout felt. I wasn't crushed but did see the disappointment through Scout. Here is a little girl who loved and looked up to her father only to find out that he wasn't perfect and it's especially hurtful since Atticus is all Scout has. Dill and Jem are gone and the only connection to Scout's past is Atticus, Aunt Alexandra, Hank and Dr. Finch (Scout's uncle). I liked this part about the book because it teaches us that no matter who our heroes are, they aren't always what they appear to be and aren't perfect. It's like Atticus turned to the Dark Side and Scout has to deal with it. Really heart breaking which I just felt and liked alot.
Another thing I liked about the book was that within all the changes that have happened, Scout is still that lovable tomboy we know from TKAM and then some. Scout is strong and stands up to here father. She has grown (probably because she has lived in New York for a while now) and she knows where she stands in her life and like she says she is colorblind. That can be a good thing for some and bad for others. but Scout knows what she is and that is something I liked.
The writing style of the book feels like it is Harper Lee and immediately sucks you into the world and story. Some parts are shabby but can be overlooked. Some editing could have gone into it which does make it seem like this is a first draft of something that once was and could have been the original. Lee transmits the reader to Scouts childhood and back to the present making things beautiful and even more heartbreaking when we get to the realization of Atticus' change. One part that I just really did not like was the introduction Dr. Finch(the uncle) who I can not remember if he shows up in TKAM. To me Dr. Finch felt out of place like something from Alice in Wonderland. The man is strange and most of the time I didn't know what he was talking about, even Scout expresses her annoyance at her uncle making no to little sense. Near the ending Dr. Finch tries to give Scout some meaningful advice but I felt like I waited to long to hear it and never got anything. I honestly hated the parts with Dr. Finch and that is saying a lot considering this book has many causes to hate. He spoke in riddles and the answer was never there. Maybe that was just me.
I don't know if this book was really Harper Lee's first draft of TKAM or written entirely new or even someone else's writing. But to me it does feel like Lee's own words and the message is strong. Racism is a hot topic in todays society and I feel like GSAW is important. It shows us the nasty sides of what people can become and how we can stand up to them. I don't know if GSAW will be the new TKAM of our generation but it certainly has a strong and emotional message. Will it ever be better than TKAM? Hell no. TKAM is a classic but GSAW is a great read regardless. To me GSAW is a sequel but you the reader can always decide what you make of this read. Reading GSAW I remembered a quote from The Dark Knight when Harvey Dent says "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Atticus is what Dent was saying. Truer words could not have been said from Two-Face himself.
So what do I give GSAM?
The book has tons of controversy and as I stated in the beginning people are mad about a hero who isn't what they expected them to be. The book is a great read and I truly enjoyed it. I feel that this book can be strong in many parts while in some it could use a little more work but I'm glad TKAM is the original work. I hated the character of Dr. Finch because he felt out of place but everyone else is good. Here's my rating for
Go Set A Watchman:
8 Koopa Shells out of 10
It's sad and heartbreaking but at the same time shows a real side to things and serves as a reality check.