A lot of readers seem to be particularly upset with Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. So much so that it’s now socially acceptable to return this thoroughly read book if you bought it from Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan.
Reviews that describe the Attticus of Watchman as having become a racist, or being revealed as a racist, by clinging to the idealized Atticus of Mockingbird may miss the point of Watchman. Atticus hasn’t changed. We saw him through his young daughter’s eyes as faultless. Now, seen by his grown daughter, we can see him as imperfect: a good man who, being fully committed to living, working, and having friends in an unjust society, makes the compromises and performs the hypocrisies required of its members. He’s a lawyer — not a judge — with a lawyer’s complex relationship to justice.
She also says:
“I’m glad, now, that Watchman was published,” wrote Le Guin. “It hasn’t done any harm to the old woman, and I hope it’s given her pleasure. And it redeems the young woman who wrote this book, who wanted to tell some truths about the Southern society that lies to itself so much. She went up North to tell the story, probably thinking she’d be free to tell it there. But she was coaxed or tempted into telling the simplistic, exculpatory lies about it that the North cherishes so much. The white North, that is. And a good part of the white South too, I guess.”
Why couldn’t we return 50 Shades? It would’ve been less profitable so there’d be no movie to inspire viewers to commit sex acts in cinemas around the world. Yes, that happened. You’re welcome.