Written in the 1950s but unpublished until recently, Go Set a Watchman is neither a prequel nor a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, and attempting to read it as a simple continuation of the story does not do the work justice. As the adult Jean Louise, “Scout,” returns to Macomb to visit Atticus, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.
While many characters appear in both novels, some significant characters, like Boo Radley and Hank Clinton, exist in only one of the texts. Go Set a Watchman is also strikingly different in style and tone. Thematically complex and highly allusive, it is a novel that demands active and close reading.
This complimentary ebook contains sample chapters from Go Set a Watchman and a teaching guide to help educators lead their students through an exploration of the themes, structure, and allusive references in Go Set a Watchman. Questions in the Guided Reading and Discussion section will help highlight the development of plot, character, and theme. Because the text features allusions that students are likely to be unfamiliar with, the guide also includes an index of annotated allusions to help facilitate close reading. Prompts for Writing and Research provide topics for longer writing tasks or research projects. Finally, this guide features an additional section that explores the writer’s craft by looking at both To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.