Dear Atticus Finch,
How are you? I’m doing well. It’s been two years since I last saw you. Time passes quickly, doesn’t it?
I wasn’t too sure if I was going to write this because To Kill A Mockingbird was never a (how do I put this delicately)… It didn’t have a major place in my heart. Nowadays, few books ever do, so please don’t be offended.
But I did understand why it was important (I think everyone knows at least some facet of its importance). So when the “sequel” was released after so many years, I couldn’t help but be excited. Then the reviews came in and I heard about spoilers and rumors: that secretly you were racist, that Go Set A Watchman was poorly written, that this “sequel” completely ruined To Kill A Mockingbird, that Harper Lee had released this under some type of duress. I don’t know if any of this is true, but I think a good majority is.
Atticus, you were–are–a role model. I and so many others looked up to you. I don’t know if I still do. Let me tell you the truth: I am a cynical person, a pessimist. Sometimes I wonder if human nature is somehow inherently bad because it seems like evil acts are all we are capable of. Even if you are only a fictional character, I believed in your goodness in your ninth grade. I want to still believe in your goodness. I refuse to read or open or touch Go Set A Watchman. In fact, I don’t want to even be near it. You may think me childish; I still consider myself a child.
Of course, there will be people who call you “flat” or “one-dimensional” because you are so steadfastly good. Yet, a deep, dark secret or a secret flaw doesn’t make a character “well-rounded”. A complex, interesting character shows character development. And you do have that. My interpretation was that near the end of the book, you became more worn out by, more understanding of the world’s problems. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that we all wanted Tom to be acquitted, but the distinct lack of justice, in my opinion, really highlights that the world is unfair despite the efforts of the good. It shows that we must continue to fight for good.
So, thank you. For being a figure of hope. For showing that the struggles we endure are worth our perseverance. For teaching us that the world may be unfair, but positive change can still be achieved (even if it must be achieved slowly). Thank you, Atticus.
I will always believe in you,
Don’t Be Afraid To Dream Bigger
It probably seems really weird that I wrote a letter to a fictional character. That’s true. It is. However, I really enjoyed writing this: it allowed me to really think about why Atticus Finch is important to me and why I was upset by the release of Go Set A Watchman. I think I’ll continue doing this. So I guess there will be letters to come… Stay tuned….
And finally, hope you enjoyed reading it!