Go Set a Watchman | Study Guide

Harper Lee

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Course Hero, "Go Set a Watchman Study Guide," November 15, 2017, accessed September 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Go-Set-a-Watchman/.

Go Set a Watchman | Part 6, Chapter 15 | Summary

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Summary

Jean Louise sits at the ice-cream stand, considering her talk with Uncle Jack. She puzzles over his words. Although she considers him a little crazy, in her mind he is sane because he doesn't sit on the Citizens' Council as her father and boyfriend do.

She recalls the way her house and yard looked and then falls into a flashback of the time when Jem arranged for her and Hank to go on a double date with Jem and Irene at a school dance. Jean Louise, unhappy with her figure, decided to wear falsies. They slid out of place and lodged crookedly. Hank gently called this to her attention, which embarrassed her to tears. Hank tried to console her by tossing the falsies. The school principal, Mr. Tuffett, held an assembly that next Monday morning, demanding that the party guilty of the "act of depravity" come forward with a confession. Unbeknownst to Hank and Jean Louise, the falsies he threw had landed on the billboard listing all the school's graduates who served in the military.

Jean Louise, Hank, and Jem tried to determine how best to respond to the principal's demand for a written confession. When Jean Louise finally took her note to the principal, he trashed it, unread. He had received a stack of confessions, one from each girl in the school.

Back in the present, Jean Louise feels she is a stranger among her family and friends and in her own hometown.

Analysis

Mr. Tuffett insisted the confession be in writing, suggesting the power of the written word over a verbal confession. However, the writing of the confession(s) rendered him powerless to accomplish his goal of identifying the guilty party. This parallels the notion that despite written laws granting equal rights to blacks, the prosecution of the laws is not a reality because of the unwritten rules of Maycomb. Like Atticus, the principal is in a position of power, yet he failed in his efforts to right the wrongs he perceived were occurring.

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