Atticus as we know him?

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is, quite frankly, one of the best books ever written. In fact, I’d go as far to say it is the best book ever written. Why? Because of Atticus Finch. Atticus, the widowed single father, lawyer and moral compass of not only the book itself, but 20th century literature.

A few days ago,┬áHarper Lee published the ‘parent’ of the Pultzier Prize winning novel aptly named ‘Go Set A Watchman’. In the novel, Atticus who was once the man who claimed he could not live with himself if he didn’t take on the case of defending a black man wrongly charged with the rape of a white girl, becomes an arthritic bigot. This news has came as a huge shock to all fans of the book; some are even heartbroken about the news.

Perhaps the worst part of ‘Go Set A Watchman”s home truths about our beloved Atticus is that millions of students around the world have studied – and are going to study – ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. They have been taught about the role model that Finch is, or was, and how his views on race and morality in general have such a strong message to each of the 50 million plus people who bought the novel. Atticus’s apparent transition to becoming a racist is something that schools will now have to combat and perhaps even adapt their courses because of the earth-shattering news.

While we can’t be certain that Atticus is destroyed forever, we can be certain that ‘Go Set A Watchaman’ is going to hurt all lovers of Atticus in a very deep way.