Back in 2015, I read two amazing stories: One was about a lawyer who would later be classified as a hero for many generations of high schoolers (or at least the ones who read the book). The other was a story of how even the biggest heroes can fail.
The books, To Kill a Mockingbird
and Go Set a Watchman
, both by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee, offered insight into an era I and many others will never experience outside the history books and stories like these.
To Kill A Mockingbird
is a timeless classic about the Depression-era American South, where bigotry and racism prevail — as they still do to a degree in today's America. The book is set in Maycomb, Alabama, and it tells the story of Jem and Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, and their father, Atticus, an attorney who defends a black man accused of rape. For many literature buffs and book fans, Atticus Finch was the ultimate hero — he stood up for what was right even when seemingly everyone else opposed him. It also portrays Scout’s unique coming-of-age story and her encounters with the mysterious Radley family.
Harper Lee’s second published novel, Go Set a Watchman
, is really an older, less-edited version of To Kill a Mockingbird
. In it, Atticus Finch’s heroic portrayal is shattered. As an older, college-aged Scout struggles with the views her father kept from her, many fans of the classic shutter at the thought of a racist Atticus Finch, and some refuse to even read it.