Study Guide

Go Set a Watchman Chapter 3

By Harper Lee

Chapter 3

  • This chapter gives us some quick background on Aunt Alexandra:
  • She has a son who looks like a horse, and she is married to a man—but they don't live together.
  • Alexandra has lived with Atticus ever since his oldest son, Jem, died.
  • Yes, for all you Mockingbird fans out there, Jem's dead. No, we don't know how yet.
  • After Jem died, the family's cook, Calpurnia, left and never came back.
  • Atticus sold their house and moved across town. An ice cream parlor now stands where their house used to be.
  • Aunt Alexandra is "giving a Coffee" (3.34) for Jean Louise, which means a bunch of annoying girls her age will come over (boo!) drink coffee (yay!) and gossip about husbands and babies. (Um, where's the door?)
  • She continues forcing herself into Jean Louise's life by saying that she will never be allowed to marry Henry.
  • Even though Jean Louise doesn't actually want to marry, she is mad that she is being told not to.
  • Alexandra's reason: Henry is the child "of rednecked white trash" (3.72).
  • She also thinks that Henry is trying to "take over" (3.75) Atticus's law firm.
  • Jean Louise is fed up. She has nothing to say, other than telling Alexandra to go pee in her hat.
  • That night, Atticus gently rebukes her before Henry shows up, and Jean Louise goes out on her date with her favorite piece of trash.