Over the past decades the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee has been taught to American students anywhere from seventh grade to twelfth, credited as a story with themes such as coming of age, discrimination and justice, all of which might appeal to young adults. However, the teachings of the Lee’s recently second published book, Go Set A Watchman seem to be daunting many within the English profession. Some reasons why there is hesitation to incorporate the new novel into curriculum is because it contains incest, racism, and the reconstruction of the heroic Atticus Finch. In order to prevent misinterpretations of characters like those of Jean Louise and Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird should not be taught unless it is alongside with Go Set a Watchman.
There has been much controversy in regards to what the origin of the second novel is. According to Lee’s publisher Go Set A Watchman was the first draft of what would later be developed into To Kill A Mockingbird. “As Watchman was rewritten to become Mockingbird over two and a half years, it gained much in literary and political sophistication, thanks to an editor’s patient coaxing. (Wood 3) If the recently published novel was intended to be the first, it would be logical to teach it as well, yet there are many who refuse to even glance at the novel dismissing the idea that it should be read much less taught. However, in order to fully understand either of the novels, they must both be read. “Reading Watchman alongside Mockingbird, in fact, gives Watchman a significance that it lacks by itself (the novel’s structure is often clunky and its prose mostly pedestrian), with the paired novels giving us insight into the segregated South’s complicated racial dynamics from t...
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... began a discussion about crops neither Jem nor I could follow.” (24) Scout is in a position where she lives in town where many farm, she can read and is read to on many subjects, yet she can’t keep up in a conversation between her father and her classmate. She is not just ignorant of subjects like farming, but she has no clue on various other subjects and people. In Watchman, it wasn’t until the end of the story that she realized her father and almost half of the town were segregationists. “Blind, that’s what I am. I never opened my eyes,” (181) Jean Louise realizes after twenty-six years. Even Uncle Jack later points it out to her. “You’ve never opened your eyes.” (190) Atticus brought Jean Louise up to be an educated individual, she went through college so she is capable of finding answers, but does little to nothing to make herself more aware of what’s going on.
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