10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Modern Day Heroine in a Latter Day Age,
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
"Gone With The Wind" is primarily seen - by those who have not read it - to be a slushy, romantic novel with little or nothing in it to interest them. How wrong they are!
Not only does the story deal with love and romance (unrequited love; being in love with each other but unable to have each other), it also deals with politics (The American Civil War), tragedy, comedy, history (we learn an incredible lot about the lives of Southerners and their beliefs), desperation...most of it seen through the eyes of Scarlett O'Hara, who in my eyes is very much a modern day heroine in a latter day age.
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. It makes the reader groan to realise that the characters are so blind to one another, and also spurs them on to read the rest of the book and find out what happens.
"Gone With The Wind" is almost like a Bible or dictionary of human affairs and emotions. From war to romance, terrible suffering to children, "Gone With The Wind" has something for everybody in it. And we can't forget Scarlett's catchphrase - "I'll think about it tomorrow". What a philosophy!
Overall, a brilliant book with fantastic characters, wonderful storyline and something everybody will enjoy.
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Initial post: 24 Aug 2012 18:09:07 BDT
Very insightful review! I appreciate the way that you have seen the historical value of it. I also feel that your review capured Scarlett O'Hara's character quite accurately.
I have had several friends who read the book, and they shared my view when they said, "I hated Scarlett O'Hara at times, but I also couldn't help feeling sorry for her." I totally agree. I think your term "anti-hero" is quite accurate.
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