Study Guide

Go Set a Watchman Change

By Harper Lee


The Confederate Battle Flag was first flown in 1861. South Carolina stopped flying it outside its Capitol building in 2015.

Slavery was abolished in 1865. Except in Mississippi, which didn't officially ratify the 13th amendment in 2013.

That only took…uh…carry the one…148 years.

The South is historically resistant to change. If change happens, it happens as slow as molasses in January. Go Set a Watchman illustrates why change is so hard to enact in the South—and, really, everywhere.

There isn't one answer. There are many, forming a dam that holds back the waters of change.

Questions About Change

  1. How do Jean Louis and Atticus react to change? What does their resistance have in common? Do either of them push the other to change?
  2. How have Jean Louise and Atticus changed since the time period depicted in To Kill a Mockingbird?
  3. Do any characters change during the course of this novel? Which ones, and how?
  4. How is the South changing? Which changes affect Atticus more than Jean Louise, and vice versa?

Chew on This

Jean Louise and Atticus are only concerned about change when it affects them personally.

The South is a tumultuous place at this time period. Some people's lives are changing for the better, some for the worse, and this causes passionate conflict.