Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee Summary Study Guide

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Plot Summary Part 2

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Jean Louise then flashes back to the time she thought she was pregnant because a boy stuck out his tongue at her. She spent an entire nine months thinking she was about to give birth. The day before she was to give birth, even though she showed no signs of being pregnant, she climbed a water tower, thinking to jump off and kill herself.

Henry saved her and brings her back to Calpurnia, who doesn't even have to use a flashlight and go spelunking inside Jean Louise's v_gina to know she is not pregnant. Calpurnia explained how pregnancy occurs; the vigorous pumping on the part of the man, the moans of pleasure from the woman, and how she spreads her legs and prepares to enjoy the inevitable. Ok, to be honest, we never read exactly how Calpurnia explains it. But once Jean Louise understand how pregnancy comes about, she is angry that she was never told about it. Calpurnia shrugged and said that Jean Louise had such a bad reaction when she started bleeding from her v_gina that Calpurnia decided that Jean Louise wasn't ready for more of a sex education.  Again, I am not sure why we are being told this story, except to give another example of how Jean Louise's v_gina troubles helped her bond with Calpurnia.

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Back in the present, Calpurnia's grandson Frank runs over a white person named Healy. Atticus wants to defend him. But unlike the time when Atticus helped clear a black man of rape charges, Atticus wants to defend him to make sure he pleads guilty! Atticus is not concerned for Frank at all; he is worried an NAACP lawyer will get involved  and prevent Frank from being convicted!

Jean Louise runs to see Calpurnia, who is understandably upset about her grandson Frank. Jean Louise feels guilty that Atticus is going to help get him convicted. She wants Calpurnia to tell Jean Louise her real feelings, but Calpurnia refuses to let her guard down. Jean Louise reminds Calpurnia of all those great times they had together with her v_gina problems, but Calpurnia will still not open up to her. Jean Louise is devastated. As a teenager she had physically spread her legs for Calpurnia, but now Calpurnia would not do the same for her, emotionally speaking.

Jean Louise talks to another white racist named Hester who says the NAACP wants to overthrown the South, they are allied with communists, and that blacks always want to marry other blacks with skin a shade lighter than their own.

Jean Louise claims she has never heard her family say an unkind word about blacks her entire life. How can this be if they are really racist? Jean Louise recalls that the minister in church talked about people getting a "watchman". Jean Louise decides she needs a watchman to guide her through what is right and wrong in Maycomb. Great, now we have an explanation for the title of the book!

Jean Louise goes to talk to her Uncle Jack. Jack frame this situation as a states' rights issue. He says the federal government has changed and wants to control peoples' lives, and that the South is fighting that because the South believes in individual rights.

Jean Louise has a flashback to the time when she was at a school dance with Henry and her padded breast cups fell down into her dress. Henry fished them out and then put them on a prominent banner outside the school. The Principal got angry when he saw this and demanded to know who had done this. Henry got all the girls at the school to simultaneously confess. I have absolutely no idea why Jean Louise is thinking about this incident at this time in the book, it makes no sense.

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