As soon as the book starts it becomes very clear to the audience that there is a huge difference between Jean Louise’s life in New York City and her former life in Maycomb. Lee demonstrates this especially when describing the reasons why Jean Louise won’t marry Hank, it is because she doesn’t want to have the “white picket fence” life in Maycomb. Soon after Hank and Jean Louise make it back to the the Finch household, we start to see the difference between the “To Kill a Mockingbird” Atticus and the “Go Set a Watchman” Atticus. The novel is notorious for featuring a different, less likable side of Atticus. There are small examples of this in the first few chapters. For example, Aunt Alexandra tells Jean Louise about the very tragic loss of one of their relatives, but Atticus provides his own narrative. Atticus goes on to state that relative died from his own foolishness. This moment is the first of many where “Go Set a Watchman” Atticus defies his original character in “To Kill a Mockingbird. One thing that does remain constant in both books is Aunt Alexandra. No matter which book you pick up, it seems her not so charming personality is always present. Pheraps, Lee did this on purpose, to show that there no matter what, there will be a person whose need for family dignity shines through.
Though Atticus seems to have taken a drastic change in his personality, some of his most common traits still appear throughout the first quarter of the novel. Much of the book is not only about Jean Louise coming home, but also her remembering various memories from her childhood. One of her first memories is when she is describing when Jem tried to “baptize” her in a local pond. Soon they are caught and sent home where they are faced by a preacher. Jean Louise feared that Atticus would be mad, but instead he was filled with laughter. Though Atticus seems like a rough character in the beginning, we soon see that he has more than that one dimension. It could be that as Atticus grew older he became more cynical and only sees the worse in people and their actions.