Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Plot of the To Kill a Mockingbird Sequel

Hey have you heard the word? Harper Lee finally is releasing a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM). it is set 20 years after the original, which would place it in the mid-'50s. Something does not feel right though. The manuscript was found by her lawyer. This is the same author who wrote TKAM and never published anything else. Sound shady? Did you know for decades there was a rumor that Truman Capote, Lee's friend, was the actual author of TKAM. NPR says no, so by instinct I say yes he wrote it. It just happens to be so coincidental that a book set in the mid-'50s South would be released in this media environment that is always trying to portray the race narrative as if it is Alabama in 1955. NPR says it is false, but I was lucky to get a crack at reading the new sequel "Go Set a Watchmen". There might be something going on. 

Page 10, Scout bitches about Alabama being full of flyover Neanderthals.

Page 36, Lee writes of Scout having Thanksgiving dinner with her family and being triggered by her uncle's racist talk at the table.

Page 39, has multiple passages of Scout raging inside about her "shitlord" uncle and how she was going to go off on him, but decided against it.

Page 49, Scout writes in her "Live Journal" about how hurt her feelings were and how she almost unleashed fury on him but decided not to in order to keep the peace. She took a photo of herself to document the pain.

Page 82, Scout visits the crime scene of a pretty white female who was a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Alabama hoping to be an astronaut. She was raped and murdered. Five fraternity brothers are suspected of the rape, supposedly shouting "I like Ike!" the entire time. Scout walked away saying "Shitlords" under her breath.

Page 96, a genius black coroner, Michael, discovers a secret: hair fibers that reveal the rapist(s) had blonde pubic hair.

Page 104, a trial begins of a handsome fraternity brother, Woodruff Sommersby, who is blonde. Atticus defends the young man, thinking something was amiss, and as a favor to Old Man Sommersby.

Page 120, Scout visits old black friends who are poor but all can quote Shakespeare and put on performances in their backyard as they collect greens for the meal they share with Scout.

Page 145, a genius black girl in town talks of wanting to be a scientist as well but couldn't go to UA because some older white man raped her, knocked her up and the black community rejected her offspring despite not really being able to tell much physical differences between the child and his cousins. Genius black girl's voluptuous and smoking hot 19 year old sister, Da'Raquel, introduces self to Scout and asks a lot of questions about the trial.

Page 175, a sudden twist as the coroner and Scout put that pubic hair under the microscope and discover it is not just blonde but blonde and white.

Page 200, Woodruff Sommersby takes the stand. Asked where he was on the night, he gives an answer he was out for a walk.

Page 225, Scout makes connection smoking hot sistah, Da'Raquel, has been at trial and left court room crying when Woodruff gave his testimony. She gets Da'Raquel to testify. Atticus doesn't like the idea.

Page 240, Atticus calls a witness and Da'Raquel takes the stand. Woodruff wasn't walking that night. He was at a motel with her fucking all night long. As proof, she submits a photo collection he took of her in a sexy maid get up with the final photo being her naked with his liquid DNA on her chest and Da'Raquel flashing the Peace sign.

Page 250, Atticus calls Sommersby's dad to the stand. OMG, Papa Sommersby was the rapist, and in the courtroom Raquel's genius sister identifies him as the man who raped her.

Page 260, Papa Sommersby says, "I would've gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids. Woodruff, you're out of the will, I'm leaving all my money to... the... G... O... P!"

Page 265, Woodruff declares his love for Da'Raquel and that they will marry and ride buses to register voters down South. Court room applauds.

Page 275, Scout approaches Michael the coroner. They hug and share a moment of victory. Scout goes to kiss him, but he stops her and says, "I would, but I'm gay". Scout says, "I can keep your secret from the shitlords, and we can go drink appletinis and do some shopping!!!"

Page 290, Atticus and Scout hug, as Atticus tells her to go fight not just for racial equality but for gender equality. Atticus wants to see Scout grow old without kids or a man, to self actualize, vacation and collect cats.

Page 300, everyone holds hands in the South and drinks a Coke.


Something doesn't feel right about this book. Something happened between writing it and the modern editing process.

9 comments:

PA said...

I never read the original so I'm not familiar with the characters' names or nuances or subplots of that great American agit-prop classic. It started becoming apparent that your bullets are satire. Nicely done.

By the way, you may remember that a sequel novel to Gone With The Wind was commissioned and ultimately written. As I recall from reviews, it was a compendium of politically correct corrections to the original.

*crickets*

What. You never heard of that literary milestone?

LOL, I remember that when the sequel was getting commissioned, this was circa 1992, there was a bit of a push to "reveal" that Rhett Butler was a part-black passing for white.

nikcrit said...

Last night I was wondering about the lack of alt-right punditizing on this dubious development.

Still, I would bet everything that TC had nothing to do with the original; yes, he was a southerner, but he was hardly a racial idealist; he was a self-absorbed aesthete; any and all equalist passions he may have held were contained to his being gay and a southerner and a self-absorbed martyr of one to boot.

TC had no room in his psyche for racial sympathies. Way too self-obsessed for such extended rumination of an 'other.'

nikcrit said...

O.T.@SOBL,

I think this story may inspire a post in you; lolzz; hmmmm, wonder how the former maid and laundress managed to fund this little start-up venture?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/nyregion/accuser-in-strauss-kahn-case-builds-restaurant-and-a-refuge.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=mini-moth&region=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below&_r=0

Doubtful we'll ever know, since 'terms' in a past civil dispute remain confidential.

Anonymous said...

Sort of funny at the beginning but ran out of steam at the end

5 out of 10

Suburban_elk said...

Is that book still in the curriculum in high school?

It was part of the standardized curriculum in 10th grade, as i recall, and i think they showed us the film, in black and white, to really drive home the point.

That story will seem like ancient history, to kids today. I can't imagine that that is not totally apparent to everyone involved. It all must seem like a joke.

Back before Alex Linder got shot down, he talked a lot of good common sense, and one of the points he made repeatedly, was about high school and college, about how those years of a young person's life are the time that they have the most energy, and to think that they should be inside a classroom, reading, is pretty backwards. Teenagers should be working in the fields and the shop, not pretending to think about things that don't matter.

It is all such a hoax, this modern life. It is not hard to know, how people want to live their lives . They want to be outside and build things and grow things, and then at the end of the day to kick back for awhile. But we can't do that anymore because that is prohibited by the emergent properties of life in a closed and competitive system.

To Kill A Mockingbird is on that theme, of how to get along, how to live with the neighbors, how to live with the law.

As we all know, that book is now more a piece of propaganda than a story unto itself. Was it a well told story, before its transmogrification? Did it have any value, back then, in its original context, which was the Old South?

Presumably it did, have some value, in its original context. I am not making that argument, though someone might.

Part of the curriculum in my high school tenth-grade honors English class was to a five-paragraph essay on that very book. I wish i had that essay to re-read, but it was thrown out. The one point from it i remember, was that the name of Scout was symbolic. Pretty obvious, of course, but at the time it seemed like something.

nikcrit said...

Is that book still in the curriculum in high school?


Hell yeah, right bedside those other lumpenprole grade-school-text classics, such as "The Outsiders" and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X."

Y'know, it really is outrageous that that last one still sees light of day, let alone is an accepted part of curriculum; I mean, X even espouses the "Beethoven-was-a-black-man" conceit, among many-upon-many others; say what you may and will re. p.c.-curriculum orthodoxy, but a book with that many purely and farcically false historical statements within to allow such nonsense even a whiff of legitimacy.

Portlander said...

Funny, just yesterday Longreads had a link to an old Vanity Fair story on Harper Lee's slimy lawyer swindling ownership of the TKAM copyright.

And he's done it to other authors. I suppose that makes him sleazy enough to attempt a manuscript fraud.

I also agree Occam's Razor suggests Capote is the real author vs. a one hit wonder with ZERO other published works and an animosity toward the media (trying to hide something??).

It would be interesting to run one of those computerized search programs to see if it came back as written by Capote. Capote has a large enough body of work that a comparison should be able to reach a valid conclusion.

nikcrit said...

Actually, the more credible scandal surrounding the Lee-Capote relationship is not that she clandestinely wrote TKAM; rather, it's that she was the on-the-ground reporter for Capote's signature, In Cold Blood; this is feasible in that she was much more nondescript and accepted in the milieu that Capote was dealing with while writing that book: rural western Kansasans were not inclined to accept Capote's fey, outrageously fem-boy disposition and actings-out.

nikcrit said...

It's not really feasible to posit that, since Lee wrote only one novel, it's gives more credence to the rumors that Capote ghosted it.
In fact, the successful one-time novelist is a common and familiar trope in commercial-era literature; i.e., the out-of-the-blue wildly successful one-shot novel surprises the public and the author and induces a withering case of writer's block; it's the textbook example of the 'sophomore slump' ot the next negative extreme (no work vs. inferior follow-up).