Day 20 – Gone With The Wind
GONE WITH THE WIND
I first read GONE WITH THE WIND in 7th grade. I grew up in Texas, and in Texas, all 7th-graders take Texas history. I happened to read GWTW while we were studying The Civil War and after taking the book away twice, my history teacher finally told me that she thought it was great that I was reading GWTW, and that the theme was appropriate, but if she caught me reading it again, she’d take it away for the rest of the week.
Well, I finished the book in four days, and I was pretty careful those last couple days, because if I’d had it taken away, I probably would have gone crazy…
GONE WITH THE WIND is stacked with problems not quite 100 years after it was published. There’s racism everywhere, not to mention an oversimplified version of slave/owner relations and a ridiculous representation of the Black population as angry and dangerous, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan as honorable.
The book would never get published today. Beyond those problematic issues, it’s way too long.
But it’s a truly epic read, written from a specific perspective of a Southern woman still influenced by the Romanticism, tragedy and impact of the Civil War.
I first saw the movie GWTW when I was in third grade, and wrote a paper on Scarlett O’Hara in high school. I’ve seen the movie at least three times since then, and have fond memories of those experiences. I went to the big screen showing in college with a bunch of adult and student work colleagues for the 50th anniversary.
Twenty years later, I saw it on the big screen in a historic theater with my husband, who’d never seen it before. (What??! He is only redeemed because our first date was seeing Casablanca for its 50th anniversary.) ;o)
It’s a long read, and a problematic read, but it’s also an enthralling read, and worth reading at least once to understand the amazing characters Margaret Mitchell created, not to mention the very interesting perspective from which the book is written. It’s an amazing representation of the Southern attitude before, during and after the Civil War.
A fascinating read, and Scarlett O’Hara is arguably one of the most compelling and faceted American female characters ever written.
Have you read it? Are you a fan?
Gone With The Wind
Since its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by many readers as The Great American Novel.
Often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.
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Buy Margaret Mitchell’s books – all of the cover links go to Mitchell’s search page; there are numerous options for Gone With The Wind and a couple other options, so I thought I’d let you find your own. Enjoy! xo
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