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The Most Heartbreaking Sentence In "Go Set A Watchman"

The SPOILERS at the start of this train ride will give you MAJOR feels.

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Last week, Harper Lee gave fans of To Kill A Mockingbird an early sample of its sequel, Go Set A Watchman, by releasing its first chapter on The Guardian and the Wall Street Journal.

Harper Collins

In it, we learn that Scout, now in her twenties, is going by Jean Louise.

She's now a New Yorker, is still wearing pants, and is on her way to visit Atticus in Maycomb.

Universal Pictures

We also learn that Jean Louise's childhood crush on Dill was definitely just a phase.

She has now moved on to a potential suitor named Henry Clinton, who is a former soldier and hopeful lawyer.

Universal Pictures

But, arguably, the biggest revelation from the first chapter regards the fate of Jean Louise's older brother, Jem.

Universal Pictures

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Jem acted as Scout's guide throughout the novel and meant so much to her.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout says, "Of course Jem antagonized me sometimes until I could kill him, but when it came down to it he was all I had. Atticus did not seem to realize this, or if he did he didn't care. I hated him for that..."
Universal Pictures

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout says, "Of course Jem antagonized me sometimes until I could kill him, but when it came down to it he was all I had. Atticus did not seem to realize this, or if he did he didn't care. I hated him for that..."

His Boo Radley adventures with Dill and Scout were legendary.

Serious squad goals.
Universal Pictures

Serious squad goals.

And his love of Atticus helped perpetuate the heroic identity that has become so much a part of Atticus' legacy.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem says, "Atticus is real old, but I wouldn't care if he couldn't do anything — I wouldn't care if he couldn't do a blessed thing...Atticus is a gentlemen, just like me!"
Universal Pictures

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem says, "Atticus is real old, but I wouldn't care if he couldn't do anything — I wouldn't care if he couldn't do a blessed thing...Atticus is a gentlemen, just like me!"

In Go Set A Watchman, it's revealed that Jem is dead.

Universal Pictures

Harper Lee writes, "Jean Louise’s brother dropped dead in his tracks one day, and after the nightmare of that was over, Atticus, who had always thought of leaving his practice to his son, looked around for another young man."

Universal Pictures

As one would predict, fans of the novel had some strong reactions.

Me after finding out Atticus Finch is a racist and Jem is dead in TKAM sequel

AND HE'S DEAD OK. I CAN'T KEEP IT IN ANY LONGER IT'S CAUSING ME IMMEASURABLE PAIN. JEM FINCH IS DEAD.

Jem Finch? In the first 12? Son of a bitch. Did George R. R. Martin consult on this thing?

You cried when Zayn left, but we died in the inside when Atticus Finch was announced racist and Jem Finch dead in the sequel

  1. How are you feeling about Jem's death?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    I'm devastated. Jem was the ultimate big brother. Literally in tears right now while I cancel my preorder.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    ...THAT ATTICUS REVELATION THOUGH!
    Correct
    Incorrect
    It adds another layer to Scout's new adventure. Can't wait to ride that train with her!
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How are you feeling about Jem's death?
  1.  
    vote votes
    I'm devastated. Jem was the ultimate big brother. Literally in tears right now while I cancel my preorder.
  2.  
    vote votes
    ...THAT ATTICUS REVELATION THOUGH!
  3.  
    vote votes
    It adds another layer to Scout's new adventure. Can't wait to ride that train with her!
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