Go Set a Watchman | Study Guide

Harper Lee

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Go Set a Watchman | Part 7, Chapter 18 | Summary



Jean Louise goes back to the house and packs her bags in anger. First she encounters Aunt Alexandra. Jean Louise brings her aunt to tears by her careless words, but she then apologizes.

Uncle Jack arrives in a taxi. He tells her to stop feeling sorry for herself and listen to him. He punctuates his words with a backhand to Jean Louise's mouth that draws blood. He exhorts her to open her eyes. She claims to feel different; Uncle Jack explains this is because she is becoming her own person. Uncle Jack says, "Now you, Miss, born with your own conscience, somewhere along the line fastened it like a barnacle onto your father's ... you confused your father with God." According to Uncle Jack, the perfect image Jean Louise had of her father had to be put to death before she could function as an individual with her own conscience.

Uncle Jack argues that Jean Louise is the bigot, defined as someone who stubbornly holds to his or her own opinions and is intolerant of the different perspectives of others. Bigots lash out or run when challenged. Uncle Jack warns that bigotry results in stagnation.

Then Uncle Jack challenges Jean Louise to meet her father for the first time.


Jean Louise is "resurrected" to new life as an individual with her own identity and her own conscience. In addition, she begins to see the people close to her as human for the first time. Aunt Alexandra, whom she has viewed as stiff and devoid of emotion, cries. She is prepared to meet her father, seeing and accepting him for the first time as a faulty individual.

Only by embracing her own identity, her own faults, and thinking for herself is she able to grow as a person.

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