Atticus, You Broke My Heart

Why The News About Atticus Finch Breaks My Heart

rsz atticus

I'm a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird.  So, of course it's disturbing to hear that Atticus Finch is portrayed as a racist in Go Set A Watchman.

But this portrayal has been "explained" by some critics who say that his character as it appears in that book is related to a financial exploitationof Harper Lee by her publishers and advisors, as a true portrait of the times and as a counterpoint to grown-up Scout's anti-racist beliefs.

I haven't read Watchmen yet but I can't seem to get over this, in spite of these theories. I'll tell you why--whenever anyone asked me, What fictional character would you want to have dinner/sex/a relationship with I always said Atticus. Not because of handsome Gregory Peck but because of what a great man the CHARACTER was, how he defended Tom Robinson, how he firmly but tenderly taught Scout morals, how he was "feeble...nearly fifty...nearly blind in his left eye" (like me) but somehow managed to seem sexy, maybe partly because of his vulnerabilities contrasted with his moral strength. I really loved him, I think.

I feel personally betrayed, but not by Harper Lee. Some real life men have disappointed me, but that's okay. None of them have been racists, which is quite the deal breaker, don't you think.  Now I need a new literary boyfriend.  But, then, the world needs a lot more important things than that.


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