Harper Lee Shows Atticus Finch’s Racist Side in Go Set a Watchman, the Internet Reacts

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Say it isn't so! Atticus Finch, the hero of Harper Lee's classic 1960s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has some disturbing character traits in the author's highly anticipated follow-up, Go Set a Watchman

The southern lawyer, who defended a black man in a rape trial in the original, quickly became a hero and role model to many who read the beloved novel. But in Go Set a Watchman, which is set several decades later, a 26-year-old Scout (now Jean Louise) returns home to Alabama and has to deal with the realization that her father and boyfriend are racists. 

Atticus attends a Klan meeting and fights against segregation. He is quoted as saying, "The Negroes down here are still in their childhood as a people."

At one point he even asks his daughter, "Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?"

Naturally, fans of the original, and Atticus by extension, took to Twitter to express both their dismay and their apathy at the new character development. 

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