Capperino’s Romantic Inquiries: America’s Little Girl Grows Up

Go Set a Watchman: How does the sequel of To Kill a Mockingbird make America feel?

Upon opening Go Set a Watchman, I didn’t know what it could be about other than racism. Jean Louise (better known as Scout), the little daughter of the lawyer Atticus Finch, is no longer a little girl. She is now grown up and featured in this sequel to one of the most beloved books of all time. She has not strayed too far from her father or from the character we had all grown accustomed to. Instead, she has grown close to various male friends, engaged in a more masculine profession, and attended college. Of course, it should be expected to anyone who has read To Kill a Mockingbird that Scout would go on to break the stereotypes of a typical Southern woman.

What I was not ready for was the possibility of romance being involved. After all, the book is half-focused on her deciding who to pursue romantically and who society wants her to pursue in that respect. Her main characteristics — playful, daring, and loving — entice many men around her. She is romantically involved with a man whom she consistently rejects, behavior that nowadays would classify Scout as being “a tease.” I rather expected this from a strong woman such as Scout, but I wasn’t ready for romance to play such a big part in the book.

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