Harper Lee has always been known as the author who ever only published one book; that will all change tomorrow as Go Set a Watchman, the sequel (or the prequel) is officially released. As stores stay open at midnight for the fans eager to buy it, pre-orders have been made since the announcement of the release in February, and many places are screening the classic film to celebrate the release.
Go Set a Watchman, was originally Lee’s first book, but her editor advised her to go back and rewrite the novel, which resulted in To Kill a Mockingbird. Worldwide, the book has inspired many people to fight racism, the Boo Radleys (a music group) was named after a character, and Atticus Finch is one the all time fictional heroes, having inspired many to become lawyers and personified justice. Scout, with her innocence learned about the racial tensions and how unfair humanity can be, was the narrator and gave the book a softer tone that many could identify with. One always wondered why the book was not published; Lee being protected by her sister had refused to allow it. Upon her death last year, it was decided that is should be published and many were suspicious of the motives of Lee’s lawyers.
From a glimpse of the reviews, it indicates that Atticus Finch becomes a racist; shattering the illusions of many of, a character millions had looked up to as a role model. Perhaps Lee changed his character during the rewrites or for Mockingbird? However, the character that many have held in high esteem may have fallen. People named their children after this hero and many decided to pursue a career in law because of him, but now that may all change. To Kill a Mockingbird, will remain a classic, one read and studied in schools across the world and the film, starring Gregory Peck will remain one of the most quoted films. It was about fighting racism and to have equality for all, something that humanity still fights for today. Many critics agree that to preserve the fond memories of To Kill a Mockingbird, the sequel should have remained unpublished. Perhaps Alice Lee, her elder sister had been right all this time? Some may say it’s only fiction, but the power of the novel has helped changed humanity, people’s perceptions and gave us hope that people like Atticus Finch can and do exist.