Literature Study GuidesGo Set A Watchman

Go Set a Watchman | Study Guide

Harper Lee

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Course Hero. "Go Set a Watchman Study Guide." Course Hero. 15 Nov. 2017. Web. 1 July 2022. <>.

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Course Hero. "Go Set a Watchman Study Guide." November 15, 2017. Accessed July 1, 2022.


Course Hero, "Go Set a Watchman Study Guide," November 15, 2017, accessed July 1, 2022,


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Harper Lee

Year Published





Drama, Historical Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

The story Go Set a Watchman is narrated from a third-person limited omniscient perspective. The focus is on 26-year old Jean Louise (known in the prequel To Kill a Mockingbird as "Scout"). Primarily, the reader is limited to Jean Louise's experiences and thoughts, but sometimes the narrator opens a window to the perspectives of other characters. Such inconsistencies may be intentional, or they may be the result of the unedited nature of this first novel. In contrast to the first-person point of view of To Kill a Mockingbird, the use of third person distances the reader slightly from the main character and provides a broader perspective.


Go Set a Watchman is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title Go Set a Watchman is taken from a verse in the Bible, Isaiah 21:6, which states, "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth." Jean Louise learns that her conscience must serve as a "watchman" in the determination of what is right and just in a free society. Upon hearing the minister refer to this verse in a sermon, Jean Louise declares her need for a watchman, yet she is oblivious to blindness in many areas of her life. As the story unfolds, she clarifies her vision. She finally understands she has surrendered her conscience to her father, just as many in Maycomb have surrendered their consciences to tradition and society's unwritten rules. Jean Louise's individual journey enables her to clarify her identity with her own sense of right and wrong. As her own "watchman," she is positioned to contribute to society in meaningful ways.


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