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Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3) 
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
Am I the only one who, when reading the first chapter of GSAW and the ride on the train reflecting, feel like I was reading Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again?" That was published in 1940. I'd have to read it again to see if the story line is similar. FYI gang, I may be the only one posting here who lived through the Jim Crow before and after era. Granted it was in Kansas, but Jim Crow was alive and well i.e., Brown vs Topeka (Kansas) Board of Education. 1964 It is not history for me it is memory.



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Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:34 am
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
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Lawrence:
Am I the only one who, when reading the first chapter of GSAW and the ride on the train reflecting, feel like I was reading Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again?"


I had the same sentiment in my mind as I read the book, I'd add Joe Conrad's Heart of Darkness as well. These feelings of mine toward GSAW, are likely generated from knowing the story line of the first book, and a logical extension of the natural line of story telling. I didn't expect a pretty picture.



Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:56 am
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
Apparently, a bookshop in Michigan is offering people their money back, saying that GSAW, should be viewed as an academic insight into the development of the author rather than a 'nice summer novel'.

Well, I think this is a publicity stunt because I've read some novels very much worse. Some I think they should pay me to read them. So far, I find it quite an honest and interesting study of human nature. I don't think it's primary theme is racism like TKAM. Maybe that is what people are finding disappointing.

I don't find it boring at all Chrystalline. Just a bit awkwardly worded and I am getting used to the style.

The New York Times has called it 'a lumpy tale'. I think that's a bit harsh to say the least. :angry:


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Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:08 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
Having just read chapters 2 and 3 I have to say I enjoyed them.
The meandering "Ode to Billie Joe" small town news and gossip was a relief after the tightly structured first chapter. It's funny and entertaining.

"Grandpa died last week and now he's buried in the rocks,
But everyone still talks about how badly they were shocked.
But me,I expected it to happen.I knew he'd lost control,
When he built a fire on main street and shot it full of holes." Dylan; Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.

I think Jean Louise has to evaluate things and keeps rubbing up against the way Maycomb society expects conformity to local traditions and values.
Her clashes with aunt Alexandra highlight this. Her Aunt makes her feel terrible about not coming home to care for her Dad And it's made more painful by Alexandra actually doing it instead.
Why is Alexandra doing this? Because it's what society expects or because she actually cares about her brother? Probably a mixture of both.
Jean is painfully aware that she actually does get on their nerves,which is why she's not coming home unless Atticus asks her,which she knows he won't.
Jean actually enjoys in retaliation, bringing up the idea of marrying Henry knowing it's pushing Alexandra's buttons,and that she will go on a rant about "born white trash."
It's still infuriating to her to hear Henry rubbished in this way so there are no winners.
Atticus just patiently keeps out of it but tries to say something positive about Alexandra to take the heat out of the hostilities.
Alexandra will never change and you just have to get used to that,and not take it to heart.
I suppose there's an element of imperfect humanity about it all, but it's easy to de-humanise even the de-humanisers.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
I have often thought that if I ever try to write a novel I would use the DSM V manual to describe my characters. Every body is mentally ill except you and me and I'm not so sure about you. :x



Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
I've just read up to Part 3. I absolutely loved the children's revival meeting and baptism in the fish pond......

It reminded me of Lake Wobegone Days. I've forgiven everything and I am hoping for more scenes from childhood .


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Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:29 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
Lawrence wrote:
I have often thought that if I ever try to write a novel I would use the DSM V manual to describe my characters. Every body is mentally ill except you and me and I'm not so sure about you. :x


That's a bit like the Groucho Marx quip, Lawrence. "I wouldn't want to join any club that would have me as a member."

What do you make of what you have read so far?



Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
I confess that my remarks so far are from reading the reviews. I've ordered the book but it will be a few days before it arrives.



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Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
Lawrence wrote:
I confess that my remarks so far are from reading the reviews. I've ordered the book but it will be a few days before it arrives.

I think you will enjoy it. Having lived through the Jim Crow days it will likely trigger memories for you. It was written in the early fifties so just before the civil rights movement really took off.

In the excellent "When we were Kings." rumble in the jungle documentary, Mohammad Ali describes coming home to Kentucky with an Olympic heavyweight gold medal for the U.S. as well as himself.

He was told he'd have to use a back entrance to a restaurant even though they knew who he was. In disgust he walked to the bridge and threw his medal in the river.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
I am interested to see if Harper develops her characters as sensitively and in my opinion accurately as she did in TKAM. The milieu of emotions among black and white during the era of GSAW seem impossible to me to be replicated in readers merely through words. I am going to share some personal anecdotes here in an attempt to show how gossamer the feelings were on both sides. My momma was born in 1896 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and attended Arkansas University and was a member ot the Tri-delta sorority. The only thing I ever remember her saying anything to me about race was when I would make a sorry comment about a negro she always said, "There but for the grace of God, go you." I invited Snooky Fulford to join our cub scout den, which mother was the den mother. Snooky was the only negro in my class. We were fast friends all through high school.

As an adult, I was a prosecuting attorney in a 40,000 population college town. Being filled with altruistic spirit in the 1960's I badgered the local businessmen to hire young negro men. Each businessman said it wouldn't do any good, but I encouraged them to be responsible. Five young negro men, who had been in the juvenile delinquency system, got good jobs. One failed to show up for work the first day and was upset he didn't have a job when he showed up at noon on the second day. By the end of the first week all five had been fired. Two of those negro men were arrested for armed robbery of a Federal Land Bank. (FLBs have no money and only loan to farmers secured by crops.) They took $1.67 from the receptionist, which was all she had in her purse. I had to prosecute them and sent them to jail for 10-15 years because it was armed robbery.

In 1995, I was fishing with my black friend from Memphis on a river in Arkansas. He had been born in Memphis and had worked all his life for a wholesale food warehouse as a forklift operator. He never finished high school but put all four of his sisters through college. That night, as we were fishing he said, "Larry, you are the first white man I've ever liked." This comment is the singular most glorious compliment I've ever received.

I expect Harper's opinion of how people lived and reacted to the complex social conditions will be an interesting read, but I believe she cannot be making a definitive statement of our racial problems then or now.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
It is true that when a person becomes your friend, you forget about colour.

I can see that once segregation has been in place, it would be a complex situation.

When a people segregate themselves as the Orthodox Jews or the fundamentalist Muslims do, it causes all kinds of resentment .


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Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:21 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
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Penelope :
I absolutely loved the children's revival meeting and baptism in the fish pond......


I have been waiting for this bit to be brought up, I laughed out loud, It was just hysterical, Kids when their imaginations start getting the better of them, there's just no stopping or telling were their going to go. As fictional events go, I'd put the baptismal affair at the top with any story that's ever come my way.

The capper, Atticus's broken heart later at the supper table, "Two big tears had run from beneath his glasses down the sides of his cheeks". The only time of pure disappointment presented by Atticus toward his children, Would it have been so were not the honored dinner guest present?.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
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Lawrence :
I expect Harper's opinion of how people lived and reacted to the complex social conditions will be an interesting read, but I believe she cannot be making a definitive statement of our racial problems then or now.


Your right, it can not be done.

Harper Lee manages to define her story and its particular situation, I don't get the impression, that through her story she had hopes of presenting a larger picture element, that's what society tried to do with the small story she told.

I think that what you point out about the larger picture issues of race in America are partly what made her semi reclusive, She could not give the answers, but was badgered for her thoughts regardless. Isn't that part of the problem here in the states, we look to humans for answers that are bigger than any single one of us?.

What I mean to say here is that she's only one person, complex issues, particularly racial, can not be remedied or defined by a single person.

second edit, reworded for my own continuity.



Last edited by Taylor on Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
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Isn't that part of the problem here in the states, we look to humans for answers that are bigger than all of us?.


CHRIS may banish you from booktalk for making such a statement and unleashing my thesis statement in response. In deference to my booktalk friends who have read my rants I will not respond here. I would suggest that your question be rephrased. "We humans look for answers to questions presuming there is an answer that is not based upon spiritual or scientific belief."

Just a thought, I'm not picking a fight this early in our dialogue.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3)
That's funny. I wasn't trying to start something, As I wrote, Harper Lee is only a single person, no one of us has the answers. that's all.

Lawrence wrote:
We humans look for answers to questions presuming there is an answer that is not based upon spiritual or scientific belief."

Yes, I think you've got it.

It pays to know a lawyer.



Last edited by Taylor on Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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