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[language study] To kill a mockingbird + Go set a watchman by Harper Lee

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发表于 4-1-2019 08:16:15 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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本帖最后由 yping88 于 4-1-2019 11:36 编辑

Both books were written in a little girl's perspectives and based on what happened in deep south Alabama, USA in 1930s during which the segregation still prevailed in south, but some white people had started fighting for African-Americans' civil rights

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 楼主| 发表于 4-1-2019 08:32:10 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yping88 于 4-1-2019 11:36 编辑

To kill A MockingBird was written by Harper Lee and it was her first and might be only book that was published in her will, which I will go back to later in the discussion about Go Set A Watchman.



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 楼主| 发表于 4-1-2019 08:52:51 | 显示全部楼层
Harper Lee was born in south state Alabama, which was one of states in Confederation States of America that upheld enslavement system and fought against north during Civil War under Abraham Lincoln's administration.

Her father was a lawyer and served in Alabama State legislature and once defended two black men accused of murdering a white man, in which case, the two black men were hanged.  
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 楼主| 发表于 4-1-2019 09:09:27 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yping88 于 4-1-2019 11:37 编辑

While in high school, Harper Lee showed special interest in English Literature, then, she attended University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa majoring in law as expected by her father. But she didn't complete her law degree. In 1949, Harper lee moved to New York and worked as a receptionist in an airline and started writing in her spare time.

In 1960, To Kill A MockingBird was published and it turned out a great success immediately and won Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Later on, it succeeded as the Best Novel of The Century in 19999, and has been set as a mandatory reading assignment in almost all high schools in western educational system.
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 楼主| 发表于 4-1-2019 09:31:16 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yping88 于 4-1-2019 11:37 编辑

It has been claimed that while Lee wrote To Kill A MockingBird, she did quite a few long stories, in which Go Set A Watchman was included. It was argued that Go Set A Watchman was an early version of To Kill A Mocking Bird, but Go Set A Watchman was published as a sequel in 2015, 55 years after To Kill A Mocking Bird was published.

In 1964, Lee sat for an interview during which she announced that To Kill A MockingBird would be her one and only novel she would ever have published.

From there on out, she had almost never ever made any public appearance in any interview or published anything phenomenal. Until 2015, one year prior to her death, Go Set A Watchman made it to the public, it, without doubt, turned out a bestseller, but caused so much controversies as well!
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 楼主| 发表于 4-1-2019 10:35:20 | 显示全部楼层
Controversy one: In To Kill A MockingBird, the father, Atticus Finch, was depicted as a hero, who went all out to represent African-Americans' best interest and advocated for "Negros" civil rights where he saw fit. In the heroine's eye, "Scout--Jean Louise", her father was absolutely her moral compass by what he did while Scout was still learning the world. In her little eyes, she could always find the answer to every question she had with no answers found anywhere else, her father was the man with conscience, was a hero who took down the white trash, was the God who treated all His children equal.

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 楼主| 发表于 4-1-2019 21:27:32 | 显示全部楼层
While in Go Set A Watchman, about a decade after Jean Louise left Alabama for New York City, the father, Atticus Finch's character was turned upside down and his attitude towards racial battle in deep south overturned Jean Louise's childhood principles her father had always shown her. Jean Louise felt betrayed and terrified by her father and what he had then stood up for--Being a member in City's Council which regarded African-Americans as Black Plague, trying to take back the civil rights from the black people he had fought so hard to place in their hands...

Atticus Finch, the father and the respectful lawyer Jean Louise once knew had turned into this bigotry, racial monster Jean Louise had never come cross in her childhood father!
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发表于 21-1-2019 00:59:46 | 显示全部楼层
I like your way of telling the story. Knowing a story isn't enough for me, so I'd usually try to find more about the author of a story. That's exactly what you offered. More, more, I'm up for more to come. Will you bring the next on?

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 楼主| 发表于 22-1-2019 10:42:57 | 显示全部楼层
yearshappy 发表于 21-1-2019 01:59
I like your way of telling the story. Knowing a story isn't enough for me, so I'd usually try to fin ...

I sure will. Please bear with me, MM
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 楼主| 发表于 27-1-2019 15:35:20 | 显示全部楼层
Sorry, I left this post unattended for far too long!
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 楼主| 发表于 27-1-2019 15:52:52 | 显示全部楼层
Controversy two: In Go Set A Watchman, Jem, Atticus' only son, who grew up with Jean Louise in a lonely neighborhood and embarked so many adventures together, died very young of heart attack.

The readers just refused to accept the fact that someone who Jean Louise leaned upon so much just left her suddenly and left Jean Louise high and dry in whatever battle she found herself trapped in!

The readers was raving and furious about Jem's untimely passing and they couldn't come to terms with it. Readers kept questioning why the author wrote Jem off the story, and Harper Lee never explained herself.

In the midst of debating, someone readers with sharp eyes and went through the book intensively quieted down the rage and pointed out that Jem actually never lived either in To Kill A Mockingbird or Go Set A Watchman.

It turned out that in both books, all statements regarding Jem were presented past tense. A very obvious one was: "Through all his life, Jem had never turned down a dare". "Not sure if Jem would understand folks better when he grew older".

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 楼主| 发表于 27-1-2019 15:59:10 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yping88 于 27-1-2019 17:01 编辑

This misunderstanding makes me think: Are we the bad readers just because we picked up English as a second language? If so, what is the excuse for so many native readers to make such an obvious and not easily forgiven mistake?

My head was just hung on this line of shame for a little bit, then, I forgave myself and let myself off the hook very quick and easy! "I am not a native speaker after all. Haha
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发表于 27-1-2019 22:23:10 | 显示全部楼层
yping88 发表于 27-1-2019 16:35
Sorry, I left this post unattended for far too long!

Not to worry. Do when you're available.
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