FeaturesLee Publishes Sequel to Classic

Lee Publishes Sequel to Classic

-

- Advertisment -

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was declared a classic almost immediately upon its publication in 1960, and it has been a staple in high school and college English courses ever since.

The story of Atticus Finch and his confrontation of racial injustice in Alabama has been hailed as one of the great literary works of the 20th century, as well as the book that has most contributed to a frank discussion of civil rights struggles.

However, the novel has always functioned well as a stand-alone work which wraps up tidily at the conclusion and leaves few loose ends. Thus, she raised quite a few eyebrows when Lee announced in 2014 that she was going to release a sequel to her only novel.

Reactions have been mixed among literary academia and the main stream media, with some people insinuating that Lee is being taken advantage of in her old age.  This sentiment has been echoed by some students at The University of Southern Mississippi.

While I’m sure that many people here in the South, as well as the United States, would love a sequel to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ we have to be aware of the suspicious circumstances of this manuscript’s release,” said Meredith McPhail, a junior English major.

Essentially, we must take steps to establish the validity of this manuscript and, most importantly, ensure that Harper Lee has not been exploited in any way.

Other students were much more positive in their reaction to the news that “Go Set a Watchman” may finally be released.

Though characterized as a sequel in press releases and set 30 years after “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the book was reputedly written in the 1950s, before “To Kill a Mockingbird” was anything more than a rough draft.


Joshua von Herrmann, a senior double majoring in political science and communications studies, was excited by the prospect.

“‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a classic work of literature, ranking with ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ as far as books that helped to advance civil rights in America. I think that a sequel – or even just another novel written by Harper Lee – would be an excellent addition to the canon of great progressive works.


Other students were simply interested in how the new novel would function as a sequel – intentional or not – to such a classic work.

(Personally) I’m interested to see how this sequel plays out.  The last book ended so completely that it’s hard to imagine where this next book could go,” said Lakelyn Taylor, a sophomore double majoring in communications studies and Spanish.

Historically, sequels have always had a hard time following an original work, even when that sequel is part of a series. Therefore, successfully writing a sequel that follows a book that was meant to stand alone would be quite the feat.

This question of meeting expectations was echoed by senior English major Mary Beth Wolverton.

I know that ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has a special place in the canon, and while I love Atticus Finch as much as the next English major and the classic ‘gotcha’ moment with Tom in the courthouse, I’m not a huge fan of Scout. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to read the sequel; I don’t know what a sequel can give me that the first book didn’t.

Regardless of how the book itself ends up turning out, it appears that “Go Set a Watchman” will certainly have everyone talking this June.

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Stevenson leads Golden Eagles to 50-point win in historic night

(Photos/Tyron Dawson) (Graphic/Charlie Luttrell) Wednesday night marked many historic feats for Southern Miss basketball as Tyler Stevenson fired on all...

Southern Miss students enter new school year among threat of omicron variant

With the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19, it’s become clear that Southern Miss’ faculty and students will...

Fumes dumpster dives into local scene

Photo Courtesy of Flip Poole Hattiesburg’s Fumes is more than just enraged vapor – they’re cohesive and consistent with genuine,...

Gunna’s ‘DS4EVER’ provides a well-needed trend to start 2022

Gunna’s awaited project, ‘DS4EVER’ released and slightly underperformed from expectations but still delivered some memorable moments that has everyone...

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ hits home for many viewers

Spider-Man is undoubtedly one of the most popular superheroes in the world and ‘No Way Home' proves that. The...

The Weeknd fails to deliver on ‘Dawn FM’

Coming off a great year of music in 2021, The Weeknd started off the year by releasing his next...

Must read

Stevenson leads Golden Eagles to 50-point win in historic night

(Photos/Tyron Dawson) (Graphic/Charlie Luttrell) Wednesday night marked many historic feats...

Southern Miss students enter new school year among threat of omicron variant

With the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19,...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you