The discovery of the Lee’s manuscript (Go Set a Watchman) in 2014 has triggered mixed feelings among many eager readers – from practical considerations of whether it will ever live up to the expectations raised by its predecessor to content related questions of what lies behind the main protagonist’s decision to visit her father. The choice of the title itself is no coincidence, it originates from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: “Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth”. This begs the question: Are there any unresolved conflicts and unknown struggles left behind? One thing is clear, Go Set A Watchman will reveal important aspects of Scout’s life and relationships by answering unsettled questions raised in To Kill a Mockingbird.
The novel revolves around the adult Scout Finch who travels from New York to Maycomb, Alabama to visit her father. In this small town, Scout has to face personal and political tensions in an attempt to understand her father and his struggles better while also grappling with her own feelings towards her birthplace. Quite naturally, the novel features certain characters from To Kill a Mockingbird and explores how they are adapting to the turbulence and instability of the mid-50s America. This book casts an entirely different light on To Kill a Mockingbird, it has a potential to radically change the way we read and perceive this enduring classic. Go Set a Watchman may as well prove to be a brilliant masterpiece of its own right.