MOCKINGBIRD MONDAYS – Part 4
I am beside myself with mixed feelings of apprehension and excitement at the news of the publication of Harper Lee’s new novel, Go Set a Watchman, coming out this July. I am stunned at the news to say the least. I don’t expect her to be doing any interviews since she is in an assisted living facility now. She is in her late eighties, deaf, and blind. Her sister Alice just passed away a few months ago, and she has a different lawyer handling all of her affairs. Yet, regarding the novel itself, my head is full of questions about how she handled the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird as it has been said that the new novel is a “sequel” to her first one. From what I can gather from articles I have read, though, Go Set a Watchman was her first novel that her publisher had her revise until it became To Kill a Mockingbird. Apparently her editor wanted her to focus mostly on Scout’s childhood. So it will be very interesting to see how Scout turns out as an adult. I hope she is still just as feisty as she was as a little girl!
Here are a couple of links to articles I have found about the new book. There are many, many more. All you have to do is google her name!
I feel excited about the new novel, because the timing couldn’t be more perfect for me personally. I am so into everything about the novel and the person of Harper Lee right now, but you already knew that! I am curious to see who the characters have become twenty years later. Scout would be about 28 years old. What has she done with her life? Did she become a lawyer like Atticus but unlike Harper Lee in real life? Wouldn’t it be interesting if Scout became a writer or a teacher?
What has Jem become – a lawyer, an artist, or an engineer? These are the suggestions of what he could become according to Atticus when Jem built his first snowman in To Kill a Mockingbird. The possibilities of where Harper Lee has taken the characters are endless, of course. Since Atticus is still in the story, he would be elderly now. What is his health like? Does Scout leave Maycomb earlier in her life then go back to visit him? Does this cause the adult Scout to reminisce about what else happened in her and Jem’s childhoods after the incident with Bob Ewell?
On the other hand, the reason I feel apprehensive about it is because I have always thought of To Kill a Mockingbird as such a unique book simply because of the fact that it was the only book Harper Lee ever published. The prospect that this is going to change somehow sets me off kilter a little bit. If this is one of your most beloved novels, how do you feel about it?
You see, I have never thought there needed to be a sequel for To Kill a Mockingbird contrary to popular opinion. It seems that people have felt disappointed that there never was one, though. I admit after I read it for myself for the first time last year, I also wondered why such a talented writer never published another book. Like Harper Lee, though, I felt like her novel was a complete story and didn’t need anything else. It was her business as to why she didn’t publish another one. However, when I have entertained the idea (just for fun) of what I would hope to see happen if there ever were a sequel, these were my thoughts:
1. I would want to see Scout and Jem’s childhood continue with their friend Dill in flashbacks.
2. I would want to see Jem’s reaction the first time he meets Arthur “Boo” Radley, his “savior” from getting killed by Bob Ewell.
3. I would want to see what happens to Bob’s daughter, Mayella, who lied on the witness stand about being raped by Tom Robinson and see how she is going to get along without her daddy.
Yet, I am content for all of that to be left up to my imagination. I absolutely love the ending of the book. I have never yearned for more. Who’s to say that any of my questions will be answered in the new novel anyway? It sounds like it will be a whole new story from one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever read.
I will say, though, that when I heard about the second novel, the questions in my head were What happens to Boo? Do the kids become friends with him? Does he come outside during the day now? I sure hope the character of Arthur Radley is developed more than he was in To Kill a Mockingbird. However, I love the way she used his character to create so much mystery. That was exciting! Besides Scout, Boo is my very favorite character. I thought it was so fitting that Scout was the one who got to see him and talk with him at the end of the book. In her sensitivity to those around her, with her keen observational skills, she notices his curiosity about Jem after he is brought home and the doctor has seen him. So Scout takes Arthur inside to see Jem while he is asleep and tells him he can pet him since he’s asleep. Then when Arthur is ready to go, he asks Scout to take him home. I love his gesture of friendship that reciprocates hers. I might feel a little bit disappointed if it doesn’t happen, but what I want is for Arthur to be able to become better friends with Scout, Jem, Atticus, and Dill. I want him to come out and play, so to speak.
Lastly, I only hope Harper Lee hasn’t been taken advantage of in all of this. To make a long post even longer if you care to read another article, here ya go.
Until next time when I will move onto another character to talk about, y’all come back now, ya hear?
Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂
Posted on February 9, 2015, in Writing and tagged Atticus, Harper Lee, hug, Mockingbird Mondays, Part #1, Part #2, part #3, reading, Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.