I am still crying. I didn’t want to read more of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee because I didn’t want to finish it. I knew I wouldn’t want it to end.
But it has.
I was tutoring my brother this morning. I ate breakfast before I went, missing my brother’s message that dad was making us breakfast. So I sat whilst they ate. And as has always been the case, discussion turned to politics.
I am very left wing in most of my ideals. In many ways I am Scout. My beliefs have always ensured that I don’t really ever fully fit in anywhere; I’m a bit weird. I have always perceived that my politics arose from the politics of my father, and until a couple of elections ago, I was right.
My dad is a Liberal voter these days. And I just don’t get it. I understand that he believes he is just in his arguments but similarly to Scout, upon learning that Atticus was not wholly whom she thought he was, I felt betrayed. Like for Scout, my perspectives of the world are black and white to me (absolutely no pun intended).
I know what I know to be truth, and I know that I am right.
And I genuinely feel sorry for all of those ignorant souls out there that do not agree with me. But even this morning, my father’s change in position (as I perceive it) infuriates me. However, this morning I didn’t get as riled as I usually would. I think I’ve ascribed it to impending dementia (no offense intended).
And so, I bitterly felt Scout’s pain. WTF Atticus! But I also think I understood the logic in his and Jack’s arguments, even though Atticus is fundamentally wrong.
Throughout my life people have tried to argue with me to get me to change my views and embrace theirs. It hasn’t happened yet and it won’t happen.
I know I’m right.
Luckily, most people perceive my arrogance as thinly veiled humour so I get to be more arrogant than I should be permitted to be.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books. It helped to shape my politics and my ideals. People should be entitled to equal opportunity regardless of race or any other distinguishing quality/characteristic.
I loved Go Set A Watchman. I loved that it was a more mature, less ideal Mockingbird and, for me, the impact was to further idealize the values inherent in Mockingbird. I am also grateful that I’ve had a similar experience with my dad because it enriched Scout’s battle for me, and I could contextualise its relevance in and through my own experiences.
More processing to come. Not disappointing in the least. Devastating that Jem is dead and Dill is overseas. And Cal – no, too disappointing for words; she had been a strong female voice and role model.
Go set a watchman – our conscience. I can sleep at night and die knowing that mine is clear; I live with as much integrity as a flawed human can.
I am left wondering what happened to Jean Louise? Did she become a voice of her time, a beacon in the darkness, or did she just mainstream it.
Lord I hope not.