An historical romantic epic which endures as a story for all our times.
She is manipulative, cunning, exasperating and spoilt as the story begins, and to an extent remains so, but as the events of the novel unfold - in particular the Civil War - she changes several times. Her "tigeress" streak is always very much apparent, but we sympathise with her because, I feel, she symbolises what many of us are, have been or will be in our lives.
Scarlett is a victim in many ways - namely of the adoration and doting of her father Gerald, who spoils her relentlessly and therefore "ruins" her - but she always somehow manages to turn the tables to her advantage and emerge the victor, however long and drawn out the process may be.
Like Alex in Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange", she is very much the anti-hero but yet we like her. I feel that this is a difficult device to achieve and it just shows the mastery of Margaret Mitchell that we are able to do just what Mitchell wants us to do.
Another key thing to note is the way that Mitchell manages to show us the "stupidity" of human nature. Melanie finds it inconceivable that Ashley and Scarlett could ever have feelings for one another; Scarlett cannot see or imagine Rhett loving her; and so on.Read more ›
The characters are mesmerising, plausible and original - I expected more cliches, but having read it I have come to the conclusion that GWTW created the cliches because it is just so damn good!
I can really see why people still consider it the greatest historical novel ever written. The fact that it has survived the test of time, unlike the many books that are applauded as brilliant one year and forgotten the next, should give you some clue as to just how good this book is.
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