Re-Rethinking Harper Lee


At Lit Hub, Kate Jenkins discusses Southern literature’s clumsy history in dealing with race, and theorizes that, in light of Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee may have actually been much more ahead of her time than we thought:

Did Harper Lee ever consider Atticus a hero? Pre-Go Set a Watchman criticisms of Atticus generally considered it a foregone conclusion that Lee’s intentions were to hold Atticus up as a defender of justice. But the biting sarcasm and angst of Go Set a Watchman put all of that into doubt…Go Set a Watchman led me to wonder if Lee wasn’t, in fact, a relic of antiquated progressivism, but a satirist so subtle that the moral of the story went right over our heads.

Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →