Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gone With the Wind-A Book Review

Overview From Barnes and Noble

Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time.
Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives.
In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.

What a ride! An 1100 page epic tale which I think could have been told in fewer words. Would it have been the same? I'm sure it would have. Margaret Mitchell wrote with such flourishing phrases and descriptions so that I felt I were right there in Atlanta, as the city was burned and pillaged by the Yankees! I could almost feel the pain from the blistered hands of Miss Scarlett. I know I tasted the salt of her tears more than once.

I have known about this story my entire life. My mom used to talk about the movie. She was a mere girl of 15 or 16 when the movie was released. She said her mother would not let her go to the 'picture show' to see this movie because it was so "trashy". Too much violence and sex for such a young girl. Almost sounds like they were still living in the times of Scarlett O'Hara, doesn't it?

And the many, many, many times it has been on TV,I have never watched the movie. Never had a desire. I thought I knew the story. And I have never been a great fan of "love stories". Boy was I surprised to learn this was much more than a love story!

There were times I hated Scarlett and times I loved her. She definitely was not the quintessential Southern lady.  She was a strong-willed and able-bodied woman who did not let the fact she was a woman stop her from saving her family and Tara, the family's plantation. She did all the things a man of those times would have done. But she was a woman! And this was looked down on by her society back then.

Then there was Rhett Butler. He was everything a Southern gentleman was not! He was greedy, cunning, and had no scruples. No one liked Rhett Butler for most of the story. He was wealthy and handsome and a cad! Everything Scarlett wanted, yet, she longed for Ashley Wilkes. Ashley , a Southern gentleman who was married to Melanie. The story takes place in Georgia during the years of the Civil War and the times as the city became reconstructed. Hard times!

I enjoyed the book. I felt this story told of another side of the slavery issue. Here we learned that the slaves were loved and cared for by their owners. And many of the slaves had a loyalty and love for their masters which made them part of the family. We have always seen the stories of the beatings and the hangings. The horrible side of slavery. Little of that was pictured in the book. These slaves loved, even adored, their masters. But, then, the story is told from the perspective of a plantation owner.  

The ending of the book was a huge surprise and very sad. (I won't give it away here just in case there is one other person who might not know the story. Although, I doubt there is.) It is enough to say that Scarlett waited so long to profess her love to Rhett that he just no longer "gave a damn". But, as we all know Scarlett will not think about it now. For tomorrow is another day. 


This will be a book I won't quickly forget. I give it a strong four stars****!



28 comments:

  1. Like I mentioned before, I read it when I was in 8th grade. I loved Rhett Butler and I never knew what Scarlet saw in Ashley. I've seen the movie several times and it really is something that needs to be seen on a big screen, especially the devastating aftermath of the war with all the injured soldiers. Definitely a classic! I did read the sequel but it was not as worth remembering as Gone With the Wind.

    Great review!

    betty

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    1. Thanks Betty! I can see why you fell in love with Rhett! She was so darn mean to him most of the time. But, then, she was mean to everyone in my opinion. I have the sequel but I'll wait for a bit to read it. I am in the midst of Blone now! Listening to it, not reading it!

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  2. Hi Paula - I too fall into your category .. so this review enlightened me - thanks ... one day I will read it ... thanks for letting us know - cheers Hilary

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  3. Good review. I have a copy at home waiting to be read.

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    1. YAY! Let me know what you think. I have had my copy in my room for about 20 years!!

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  4. I read it years ago. Must do so again.

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    1. Do you enjoy re-reading books, Joanne!

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  5. I may put this on my re-read list since it is sitting on my shelf. Nice review. I grew up being told Scarlett was a bitch and not nice. But when several folks over the years called me a bitch during my career, I just smiled. Scarlett wasn't the only woman fighting for what she believed.

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    1. Scarlett WAS a bitch! She was just before her time. I was called a bitch more than once myself. So be it!!

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  6. I read it years ago and have seen the movie. It's a classic that many will remember and love.

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    1. I think you are right! Now I will watch the movie when I get a chance! I usually, though, don't like the movies after I have read the book.

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  7. Congratulations. You did it! You made pretty good time, too.

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    1. Thanks Gram! I feel like it took me forever!

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  8. Great review to a great story. I never read the book but have seen the movie. Will you now watch the movie since you've read the book?
    Love how Tara was a character in the story too.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I loved Tara being a character as well. And I might watch the movie if given the chance. Will you ever read the book?

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  9. I was just going to ask if you planned to watch the movie!
    There's so much I've forgotten, but Clark Gable (Rhett) and Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) were unforgettable!
    For being filmed so long ago, I thought the burning of Atlanta cinematic effects were amazing.

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    1. I do plan to watch the movie! I can't wait to see how they have depicted the characters. Did you know that Hattie McDaniel, Mammy, was born in Wichita, Kansas? That is where Justin lives!

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  10. Think I'll wait for the movie. ;)

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  11. I've never read it. I've never seen the movie.

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    1. I didn't think there were very many of us! And now I know three! You should read it Kwiz!

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  12. I enjoyed the book too, but I'd be curious how you feel about the movie, seeing it after having read the book. It is very different. I often find that watching a movie first makes it more likely that I'll like both. I don't think this story suffered from its truncation into film.

    I have to say, having read Margaret Mitchell's book, I have absolutely no desire to read the so-called sequel. It may have been approved by her estate, but was written so very long after Mitchell died, that I highly doubt it is true to the original vision. Although, not having read it, I don't know. Guess I'll wait for your review!

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    1. I was surprised to find that Gone With The Wind was the only novel ever written by Margaret Mitchell. I will read the sequel and review it here for you. And I will look forward to seeing the movie someday!

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  13. I doubt living as a slave was how it was portrayed in the book. Otherwise, I'm sure the book is a pretty decent representation of life at that time. I've never read the book, but I've seen the movie. I never could figure out what Scarlett saw in Ashley.

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    1. Well, since slaves were freed over 150 years ago I guess none of us will ever know the true story as none of those are still living to tell it. All I am saying is there are always two sides. And our media has done a very good job in portraying the horrible side of slavery! It gave me plenty to chew on as I contemplated what I thought of this book!

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  14. I'm sure like everything else....there were good slave owners and evil slave owners...but in that sentence lies the problem....the word owner should never be used when talking about a human being. You also have to look back at the times that people "owned" slaves who were considered animals. There were no laws protecting animals as there are today so the "owners" could treat them any way they chose. Now we don't even allow people to treat animals inhumanely, nor should we.
    I'm done with the rant...but believe it or not there are still people in my very family that think that blacks are less deserving of respect and dignity solely due to the color of their skin. Boggles my mind!!!!

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    1. Well, I guess that is what they fought the war for. And now there are no slave owners. We live in a different time now, but many have yet to give up their old ways of thinking!

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!