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Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10) 
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 Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)

Please use this thread to discuss Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10).



Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:40 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
I am enjoying the descriptions of the formalities of church services and know the hymns mentioned by heart. There is great comfort in their repetition . I belonged to the Anglican Church but have attended Methodist services many times and remember the doxology.

In our village the Methodists share our 12th century church, since the Methodist Chapel didn't have enough congregation to keep it going. The church is Anglican and therefore quite formal. It would, of course, once have been Roman Catholic, but at the Reformation we protestants claimed it. The Roman Catholics have a new modern church close by. It is like a sinagogue inside. I really like it, although I have only been to funerals there. I used to get along famously with the old catholic priest - Father Holleran. We used to try Christian Unity but he would never come and preach in our church until they bribed him with a bottle of Irish Whiskey!!


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Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:19 am
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
The wonderful - game of 'Revival' with the Baptism.

Taylor - If you read the scene again where Atticus sheds tears at the dinner table when the famous evangelical preacher is at dinner and decrying the antics of the children which he witnessed, you will see that Atticus left the table and went into the kitchen, when Scout asked the cook if Atticus was OK, she told Scout that they were tears of stifled laughter.

I agree with you absolutely, the childhood games are some of the best pieces of writing I have encountered...pure joy. And as LisaRose observed at the beginning of our discussions - 'you feel as though you are actually there'.

I grew up on the Lancashire Moors (rather like Bronte Country - Kathie and Heathcliff) from the age of 5 until I was 17, so very formative. The only other children lived in farms and cottages dotted around. I was an only child and so my play-fellows were boys as most of the time there were no girls of my age. Unlike Scout, I was not a tomboy. I was a very girly girl and so they would not always suffer my company (a bit like Violet Elizabeth in the 'Just William' books). But those games of play-acting as described by Harper Lee - just took me right back to things I had forgotten. We used to do imaginary games whereby one person would say, 'You say this', and 'you do that'......a bit of Noel Coward stage directing really.

Fortunately, the wind never dropped when we used to lean over the stone quarry chasm letting the wind hold us up. Or when we used to hurtle over the dry grass in summer - sledging on our blackboards. We just didn't know the danger we were in.....some divine providence must have protected us.


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Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:36 am
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Quote:
Penelope:
when Scout asked the cook if Atticus was OK, she told Scout that they were tears of stifled laughter.

I read it as Calpurnia, scolding Scout more or less by a type of mockery, As in your pappy is just fine he's on the back porch just having a high old time. No I think Atticus was genuinely disconcerted.

Heathcliff is one hell of a character, Wuthering Heights, another good story.



Last edited by Taylor on Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
That is so interesting isn't it. I have endowed Atticus with a sense of humour and you have perceived him differently. It just proves how differently we interpret people in real life as well as in book characters.

Now, Heathcliff could only be placed on the wild Yorkshire moors for his fearful character to develop . The old servant describes him as very fleysome (I'm spelling that phonetically) as it is a Yorkshire dialect word meaning frightening. My old mother-in-law used to sit under the stairs in a thunderstorm because she said 'It were verra fleysome'. You can imagine my delight at discovering Emily Bronte's use of the word in her famous book.


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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
I agree that Atticus has a sense of humor towards his children's antic's, I also see him as a single parent who is prone to indulge them as well, Calpurnia, has been with the family for many years, I see her as the surrogate matriarch charged with a measure of responsibility toward the discipline of the children. Under normal circumstance Atticus may well have gotten a kick from the baptism, and perhaps at some point in retrospect he did, but Harper Lee doesn't imply beyond what she wrote of the incidence. Calpurnia, is as much a nanny as cook, house keeper, guardian, Calpurnia is an educated woman with a family of her own, hers is the duality in this story, the baptism scene is telling because of the ambiguity of Calpurnia's answer to Scout.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Taylor wrote:
I agree that Atticus has a sense of humor towards his children's antic's, I also see him as a single parent who is prone to indulge them as well, Calpurnia, has been with the family for many years, I see her as the surrogate matriarch charged with a measure of responsibility toward the discipline of the children. Under normal circumstance Atticus may well have gotten a kick from the baptism, and perhaps at some point in retrospect he did, but Harper Lee doesn't imply beyond what she wrote of the incidence. Calpurnia, is as much a nanny as cook, house keeper, guardian, Calpurnia is an educated woman with a family of her own, hers is the duality in this story, the baptism scene is telling because of the ambiguity of Calpurnia's answer to Scout.

Interesting thoughts Taylor. I think Lee is giving a very good depiction of the complexity and layers of relationships. There's the relationships of boss and employed servant. Of race and relationships based on societal structures and constraints.
But it's not simple. Are they tears of sadness or laughter?
Earlier when Jean describes Atticus calmly correcting Alexandra's claims to Finch superiority she thinks she detects a glint of profanity in his eyes or is it the light reflecting of his glasses? She never knew.There's an insecurity about what is real even in her Dad's behaviour.Then there's tears and glasses.
Calpurnia a black hired surrogate Mom and servant is in a certain relationship to people partly imposed and partly based on how she finds people.
She has "company manners." She acts in one way towards Atticus and the children and another towards "company"
She becomes haughty in manner and when Jean asks her if her Dad is really upset,she doesn't just answer her privately but relishes announcing to the Rev Moorhead and his dour wife. "Mr Finch? Nawm.He out on the porch laughin!"
Just what they didn't want to hear,and she deliberately drops her good English to fit the stereotype expected,and that is subversive mockery by her.
And Jean is left with that gnawing uncertainty again.
Atticus kept her on even when she was old and he was doing most of the housekeeping, probably in appreciation of her role when the kids were young and she really had a heavy load, on top of her own family responsibilities.
There's ambivalence in Calpurnia. It's an unwanted extra chore to have to bathe Jean from the results of her free and easy games.
She throws down the patent leather shoes with the command; "Put em on!" but she has to do it anyway so slams down the toilet seat,sits her on it and does one more chore.
That's her paid and expected role and it's irritating at times. Jean doesn't relate negatively and calls her Cal suggesting something beyond that paid role life has thrust her into.
I think Lee is suggesting complexity here and there are societal 'norms' and roles but they need not be determinative of relationships,though they often are.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Flann that's a lot to take in.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Taylor wrote:
Flann that's a lot to take in.

It's an enjoyable read Taylor, just with the comedy and great recreations of children's games and interactions.
There is some depth there,and she tries to show things as they are while realising that Jean sees these things in her own way.



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Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:54 pm
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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Quote:
Flann
Are they tears of sadness or laughter?


I can not see a state legislator, prominent town attorney, a descendant of antebellum southern aristocracy, having tears of laughter at a supper table, with the guest that were present, It would be an insult, an impropriety, Atticus as the patriarch, the mere perception of his laughter, just does not fit the narrative. Prior to dinner being announced the house residence and guest were sitting in the livingroom, the children were quit, Atticus and Reverend Moorehead made uninteresting conversation and Mrs Moorehead just stared unsmilingly at the children, There's no ambiguity there, the guest were uptight, Atticus is not holding back laughter, he maybe wishing the evening were over with, but there's proper form, etiquette, procedure, All these things that the Finch name carries, but are not reflected in Atticus's children.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Flann, I like your comments on Calpurnia, Her family history dates with the Finch's, She is the child of slaves, both families are connected, which is not unusual for some old southern families, The Finch's were slave owners, (the connection), this is part of the weirdness that pervades life in the Finch household.

There's something to this thing with the glasses, there may be a relationship between the story so far and Jeans uncertainties, about her father.

There are rolls to play, and Harper Lee is setting up those rolls, the rolls are symbiotic, but by the parties involved, this could never be admitted to.



Last edited by Taylor on Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
I finished reading the book yesterday, although I hadn't intended to. I just couldn't put it down.

It is, as has been said, a book about relationships and in circumstances with which Harper Lee would be familiar. So I suppose it is semi-autobiographical in that sense. They are not circumstances that I recognise but I was absolutely absorbed and didn't want it to end.

I had no real relationship with my father and was brought up by my mother alone so I can't imagine that of Scout and Atticus, nor of the wise uncle character, but of course the wise uncle had to be there. He was the only character who didn't seem real to me, but that didn't mean I enjoyed the book any less.

It is supposed to be a female trait to be interested in relationships at the expense of more important issues.


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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Just got to Chapter 9 and hugely enjoyed the childhood play acting scenes. But couldn't quite figure out where the book was going till we got to the scene where Jean Louise discovers 'The Black Plague ' pamphlet. Love the description that follows.
'WITH THE SAME suddenness that a barbarous boy y anks the larva of an ant lion from its hole to
leave it struggling in the sun, Jean Louise was snatched from her quiet realm and left alone to
protect her sensitive epidermis as best she could, on a humid Sunday afternoon at precisely 2:28
P.M. The circumstances leading to the event were these:'


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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
heledd wrote:
Just got to Chapter 9 and hugely enjoyed the childhood play acting scenes. But couldn't quite figure out where the book was going till we got to the scene where Jean Louise discovers 'The Black Plague ' pamphlet. Love the description that follows.
'WITH THE SAME suddenness that a barbarous boy y anks the larva of an ant lion from its hole to
leave it struggling in the sun, Jean Louise was snatched from her quiet realm and left alone to
protect her sensitive epidermis as best she could, on a humid Sunday afternoon at precisely 2:28
P.M. The circumstances leading to the event were these:'


Thanks for joining in and giving your views on the book heledd.

It's impossible I think to avoid the conclusion that Atticus is overtly supporting racism especially given the rabid spiel from O' Hanlon which seems to be what they are all there to hear and support.
I haven't got that far yet but I gather that Atticus gives some sort of explanation to Jean Louise later on. It had better be good.
There's the more personal and raw sense of betrayal of trust which is captured well in the excerpt and description you quoted.
She believed Atticus had moral integrity and yet here he is evidently supporting speech and attitudes of the K.K.K.strain.

On an earlier subject. It's clear that Jean Louise really despises almost everything about Mayfield society and culture and the narrator highlights the petty politics,racist attitudes, and imagined self importance of many.
This seems to be partially explained by it's backwater isolation and Jean lives in New York which is antithetical in some ways.
Robert Tulip in one of his posts on "Algernon" recently linked a wikipedia article on the history of Bethlehem Royal hospital which became known in common currency as Bedlam.
The lamentable history involving kings,doctors and elites of society,while by no means typical of all the psychiatric institutions in London had many of the same elements as Mayfield.

Petty politics,greed,vaingloriously grand yet practically bad design,nepotism and utter disregard for the patients as human beings. This existed along with those who were appalled at this and worked for reform.

The point being that even the great metropolis was not immune from such things merely by dint of it's access to learning and breadth of exposure to various up to the minute technologies and ideas.

London would have been one of the more advanced and cultured societies of it's time.

I imagine Mayfield having these oppressive social and cultural aspects but would New York not have it's own manifestations,though differently expressed perhaps,of these kinds of things in one way or another?

One has to agree with New York on the abolition of slavery though.

What's interesting is that Alexandra regards Henry as "born white trash." Her superiority resides in her Finch blood and Henry's inferiority in his birth to inferior whites. The Finch names seems like a Dickens style allusion to the Darwinian Galapagos finches.


He's not fit to marry her niece while Atticus in effect adopts him as his son. Anyway I'm not sure how Atticus explains his apparent racism but that comes later on.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Go Set a Watchman - Part III (Chapters 6, 7, 8,9 and 10)
Jean absolutely idolises Atticus and most of her attitudes and opinions are formed from his. She I feels literally 'gutted' when he appears to be supporting what she finds obnoxious. Gutted is the right word as the description of the stranded ant in Heledd's quote depicts.

I don't quite believe how Harper Lee resolves this issue..... But I will be very interested in what this group thinks when we reach that part of the book.


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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