13 July 2015 - Harper Lee's "Go Set A Watchman"
Harper Lee’s new novel is a story of lost innocence
Hillel Italie (The Washington Post)
Like her classic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harper Lee novel coming out Tuesday is a coming of age story.
And not just for Scout Finch.
“Go Set a Watchman” is set in the famous fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the mid-1950s, 20 years after “To Kill a Mockingbird” takes place. Scout Finch, now a grown woman known by her given name Jean Louise, is visiting from New York, unsure of whether to marry a local suitor who she has known since childhood and enduring a painful contrast between her new life and the ways of her hometown.
Atticus Finch is a racist
Vanessa Thorpe and Edward Helmore (The Guardian)
One of the great figures of American literature has suffered dramatic reputational damage this weekend. The unexpected early release of shocking plot details from the new novel by Harper Lee, a sequel to her great work To Kill A Mockingbird, has revealed that the noble hero of her first book, Atticus Finch, in later life becomes a racist who seems happy for segregation to continue in Alabama. Its as if the Statue of Liberty had been discovered to have cloven hooves.
Lee’s much-anticipated new book, Go Set a Watchman, was actually written before the publication of her masterpiece in 1960. The manuscript contained a series of flashbacks to the early life of its heroine, Scout Finch, and her publisher, who was intrigued by the vivid picture they painted, suggested the author should go away and write another novel based on those passages.
Some find nuance in a bigoted Atticus Finch
Alexandra Alter (The New York Times)
With all the debate brewing over the origins of Harper Lee’s novel “Go Set a Watchman,” the biggest bombshell turned out to be an explosive plot twist that no one saw coming.
Atticus Finch — the crusading lawyer of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” whose principled fight against racism and inequality inspired generations of readers — is depicted in “Watchman” as an aging racist who has attended a Ku Klux Klan meeting, holds negative views about African-Americans and denounces desegregation efforts. “Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?” Atticus asks his daughter, Jean Louise (the adult Scout), in “Watchman”.
Arifa Akbar (The Independent)
It is 20 years after Depression-era Maycomb, in the backwaters of Alabama, held its doomed race trial in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Jem is dead of a heart attack; Dill is away in Italy; Atticus Finch has evolved into a small-town bigot who reads pamphlets on “The Black Plague” and regards “our Negro population as backward”.
Scout – Jean Louise Finch, aged 26 – is the new moral compass and Civil Rights activist-in-the-making of Go Set a Watchman.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"13 July 2015 - Harper Lee's "Go Set A Watchman"", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juillet 2015. Consulté le 06/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/13-july-2015-harper-lee-s-go-set-a-watchman-