Go Set a Watchman | Study Guide

Harper Lee

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Go Set a Watchman | Part 3, Chapter 6 | Summary

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Summary

Aunt Alexandra wakes up Jean Louise, accusing her of embarrassing the family by swimming naked with Hank. Atticus, unfazed, holds up the "rough-dried cotton dress," evidence that the rumor mill has spread incorrect information.

The family goes to church, an extremely important weekly event for Aunt Alexander, and Jean Louise "marched into the church with as much dignity as she could muster," knowing the whole town was likely talking about her supposed naked swim with Hank.

Uncle Jack meets the family at church. He had already heard about the swim. Jean Louise plans to visit him in the afternoon.

Analysis

Aunt Alexandra, representing "old Maycomb," doesn't quite have her facts straight, but she acts on what she believes to be true. She heard through the grapevine that Jean Louise and Hank swam naked, and Jean Louise is reminded that gossip and truth are one and same thing to the folks of Maycomb.

Strangers view Uncle Jack, a physician with a love of Victorian literature, as "a borderline case," but most know he is not crazy. He seems to be a living paradox, straddling the two worlds of medicine and literature, sane but a bit weird. According to Campbell's hero model, the hero engages the help of a mentor, someone who is wise in the ways of the world and can share advice. Jean Louise looks to Uncle Jack as a mentor; she sees beyond his eccentricities and values his wisdom.

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