I recently conquered all 1,024 pages of Margaret Mitchell's, Gone with the Wind. A book that sold more then 176,000 copies within the first three weeks of it's publication.
As a teen and a young adult, if you asked me what my favorite movie was I would have said, Gone with the Wind. This picture held the record for biggest Hollywood budget, and greatest box-office-money-maker until the year 1997. After 56 years of her reign it took a Titanic to advocate her from her throne. However, movies are not what I am writing about, but the love for the movie did inspire me to take on the book.
Let me begin by saying I do not appreciate any book that depicts any race of human beings as inferior or simple-minded. This is hard for me (being raised in a home free from prejudice) to comprehend. But when a generation is raised to believe such absurdities one must not throw stones. There is not a perfect one among us. We all have ways of thinking that are unhealthy or just plain wrong!
With the above statement made, I want to say that I enjoyed this novel. The Civil War has always held great fascination for me. Not because it was/is the deadliest of all wars to date, (with 646,392 union and confederate dead) but how this bloodshed shaped the country we occupy today.
Scarlett O'Hara is the heroine we all love to hate and hate to love, but somehow we do. Attractive, selfish, confident Scarlett. A woman who thinks she knows what she wants and is willing to do anything to get it.
We follow Scarlett O'Hara-Hamilton-Kennedy-Butler on this voyage. In the face of insurmountable odds this; belle, wife, mother, widow, survives even when all she holds dear is stripped away. Determined not only to survive, but to rise.
This novel takes you on a journey of the South:
Before the war- with it's beautiful ladies-fair in hoop skirts, raised up with one purpose; to catch a husband and run a plantation. The gentlemen who put these ladies on pedestals and believe them incapable of evil or imperfection. Gentleman who did everything for honor's sake and who's character was upright and steadfast. A kingdom of grand plantations, red earth, and sky high cotton fields.
During the war- with it's victorious beginnings and a belief of being invincible. Mid-war still clinging to that hope, but facing the horrors of war and painting on a face that all is well. End-war of lack, death, starvation, and complete annihilation of everything they'd worked for generations to achieve.
After the war- picking up the pieces, maintaining honor in the face of evil, unjust treatment of belles they cherished, and a civilization, gone with the wind...
In face of war, famine, death, and destruction. Scarlett O'Hara always held her head up high. She wouldn't think on unpleasant things. She'd square her shoulders and say, "I won't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow." After all, tomorrow is another day.
Disclaimer: I have no financial gain whatsoever in writing of this epic novel or our time.