WARNING - SPOILERS
I am now on page 168 - over halfway through the novel. I have been weeping off and on for the last 60 pages.
It's my own baggage. It really is. Or is it? My reaction to the revelation that Atticus is . . . not what I thought him to be (I can't type it, I just can't), is very similar to Jean Louise's. My stomach turned. I didn't throw up, but I was rattled to my core. I wept. My mascara actually ran. And I had another revelation that we should all consider.
To Kill a Mockingbird is told from Scout's point of view. During the course of the book, she only ages from six years old to nine years old. Those are still the ages at which we are idolizing our elders. So . . . Atticus defending Tom Robinson is the noble act of a flawless man who is ahead of his time - to the Scout who is in grammar school. We all know that real people are more complex. Should I be surprised that Atticus has flaws? No. Am I? I'm as surprised (and scarred) as I was when I found out that my own parents had/have flaws. It sucks.
But it's real.
I'm going to wipe my eyes, wash my face and go to bed. I'll settle in with Jean Louise again tomorrow evening.