Go Set a Watchman


Harper Lee

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Go Set a Watchman: Part 3, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Aunt Alexandra wakes up Jean Louise the next morning, saying that she just heard a rumor that Jean Louise and Hank were swimming naked the night before. Alexandra is scandalized, but Jean Louise shrugs it off. She tells Atticus, who also makes light of it. Alexandra is confused when she sees Jean Louise’s wet clothes, as that meant she wore her clothes to go swimming, but Alexandra still declares that “such conduct is unbecoming” at her age.
Aunt Alexandra again shows what it means to be a proper Southern lady: disapproving of anything “unbecoming” and always gossiping about the flaws of others. Atticus doesn’t share her indignation, as usual, showing that his sympathy and humor hasn’t faded with the years.
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It is Sunday, and so the family goes to church. Aunt Alexandra disapproves of Jean Louise’s attire as usual. Uncle Jack, the brother of Atticus and Alexandra, is waiting for them at the church. He was a bone doctor in Nashville, and eventually saved up enough to retire to Maycomb and devote all his time to his passion for Victorian literature. Now he is considered “Maycomb’s most learned licensed eccentric.” He seems to live in his own archaic, complicated world, but he is still very intelligent and wise. Jean Louise greets him and they go into the church.
Uncle Jack plays a major role in Go Set a Watchman, unlike in To Kill a Mockingbird. As with other characters of Maycomb, Lee lingers on his eccentric backstory and draws out the humor in it. Uncle Jack didn’t live in Maycomb in the time of Mockingbird, but years later he is an important part of Jean Louise’s experience of home. As an eccentric who seems the equal of Atticus in intelligence (perhaps unlike Alexandra) he also offers an additional perspective in the novel, as a person who can see Atticus for who he is.
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