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Harper Lee: Go Set A Watchman Audio Book Summary
Before publication, Go Set A Watchman received a great deal of attention. This is because it was a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, one of the most beloved books of all time.
The book is set 20 years after the events of To Kill A Mockingbird. In that time, the world has changed tremendously. Dill is traveling the world, and Jem has passed away due to a heart attack. Jean Louise has moved away and is in a serious romantic relationship. Only Atticus Finch remains in the Alabama town of Maycomb.
When Jean arrives in the town to visit her father, she is excited to see him. Unfortunately, the visit does not go well. She discovers pamphlets that contain racist propaganda within her fathers things. She becomes so concerned that she follows her father to a speech he is attending. Her concerns are confirmed when the speech is full of racist content. She flees, upset.
Later on, she gets into a fight with her boyfriend about her father’s actions. During the fight, she tells him that she couldn’t marry a man like him. Eventually, as she calms down, she begins to investigate her father’s beliefs further.
She finds out that her father does not believe that the south is ready for blacks to have full civil rights. He is against the government intervention involving segregation, and is doing all that he can to fight against it.
Jean Louise decides that she wants to leave Maycomb early and return to her own home. However, after an argument with her uncle, she is able to gain more insight into her father’s behavior.
She learns that her father knew that she idolized him, and wanted to her to “break her idols.” He knew that she would disapprove of his current views and wanted her to be aware of them so that she could continue to become her own person.
Jean Louise makes up with her boyfriend and comes to an understanding with her father, although she is still very bothered by his beliefs and actions. Atticus tells Jean that even though they believe in different things, he is happy that she is willing to stand up for what is right.
This book was the subject of a great deal of controversy. Because many people had grown up idolizing the character of Atticus Finch, they were upset to see him portrayed in such a negative light. In that respect, their reaction mirrored that of Jean Louise.
Many people also had concerns about the author, Harper Lee. They were worried that she had been pushed into publishing this manuscript. Although some investigation was done, little came out of it.
Ultimately, it seems unlikely that Go Set A Watchman will have the kind of cultural legacy that To Kill A Mockingbird had. With that said, the book provides a unique perspective on existing characters, and has managed to provoke a great deal of discussion. It’s an interesting novel written by a literary great.