“Go Set a Watchman”

Desirae Lewis, Writer


Harper Lee’s widely known novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” no longer has the spotlight. Late in the summer of 2014 Tonja B. Carter, Lee’s lawyer, found herself reading an old manuscript of what was assumed to be “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The famous Finch family was found in the story but as she continued reading, the plot appeared different. Scout had grown up, Atticus was very old and it was set in the racial discriminatory 1950s of Alabama. Carter confronted Lee quickly after her discovery of Go Set a Watchman. Lee was astonished for she thought she had lost the novel when her editor, Tay Hohoff, had rejected it.

Here at Lakeridge High School “To Kill a Mockingbird” is held close at heart, for every freshman class reads it for English.

English teacher Diane Long, says “ When I found out about the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, I was excited, astonished and nervous.”

“Go Set a Watchman” was set 20 years after “To Kill a Mockingbird” but Hohoff told her to write another novel from Scout’s perspective as a young girl. The matured personalities are where Long admits, “I’m nervous that the characters in the second book won’t be as perfect as they are in To Kill a Mockingbird.” The newly-found novel is to be published on June 14, 2015.

Out of fear of ruining her “To Kill a Mockingbird” experience Long says, “I plan on having a friend read Go Set a Watchman, and then they’ll be able to tell me how the story is and whether or not it would ruin To Kill a Mockingbird for me.”

The unexpected discovery has led to much controversy.

It has been rumored that Lee does not want to publish the second story and is too mentally disabled at her age to have signed off on the publication. Close friends of Lee have confirmed the rumors of Lee’s mental illness to be false.

Long says, “Based on everything I have read, Harper Lee seems very excited to be publishing a second novel, but I do find it strange that the novel had been lost for so many years.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a widely known title in American literature, and is largely successful having won the Pulitzer Prize and been made into a movie.

“Go Set a Watchman” has high expectations from most, but it will be difficult to beat the American favorite, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”