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I absolutely LOVE this book. It has everything you could ever want. A historical context, romance, friendship and the everlasting adventure that is true love. It is not a happy, clappy book but thought provoking. It is a converation starter and really examines the relationship between the plantation owners and their slaves. In a non-judgmental way, this book clearly points out HOW the plantation owners thought of their slaves and presents an almost family orientated relationship, despite what you may have heard or read in the past. Now, by no way, do I feel slavery is, was or ever will be right, it's just very interesting reading about it from a different point of view.
Of course, quite clearly, from the other (and right) point of view, slavery is wrong. It should never have happened.
The romance between Rhett and Scarlett has to be the best love story ever told. I completely adore it. I won't spoil the ending for you, but the bitter sweet emphasis of those final words has struck a chord in many a heart, and will continue to do so infinately in the future.
If you hav not read this book, then DO! You Must! It's amazing! I have read it so many times that I'm on my 3rd copy because the others have all been read unitl they fell apart. Now, to put that into context, I only ever read a book once and usually get through 2 or 3 a week. I am an avid reader, but somehow, Gone With the Wind has always, and will remain, my absolute favourite!
I'm afraid I won't be able to do Gone With The Wind justice in this review!
I first read it at the age of 14 and have read it nearly every year since...I must have read it at least 15 times and am now on my 3rd copy, the previous onces having fallen to pieces.
Set during the American civil war and it's aftermath it tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a southern belle, and her tumultuous life through beautiful, descriptive writing.
It is filled with romance, history and excellent characterisation, making you feel as though you were actually in the deep south during the war, hearing the cannon booms and feeling the red earth flowing through your fingers.
Margaret Mitchell manages to fill all her characters with depth and describes them with fantastic subtlety. It is rare for the protagonist of a novel to be given quite so many negative qualities, making it difficult to actually like Scarlett. Even after all these years I am still torn between not liking her and feeling quite scornful towards her, and admiring her strength and determination.
All in all I cannot praise this book enough. Yes, it takes some reading at over 1000 pages long, but once you're into it you can't put it down and find yourself lost in another era, a time long since gone.
I love this book. Romantic, funny at times, heart wrenching at others it truly is a brilliant piece of writing. M Mitchell writes with prowess, describing the scenes with a passion and vivacity so seldom found. The scenes of war are electric and the atmosphere is created so powerfully the reader feels a part of the surroundings. However, it is in her character building where the best parts of the book are to be found. Scarlett, a fundamentally despicable character becomes a protaganist to be admired, pitied and ultimately to be cared about. She becomes alive and her relationship with Rhett is a subject of intense proportions which has caused me infinite agonies the many times I have read this book. Read it before watching the film as well, as although wonderful it is the book that is the true work of art. Mitchell shines here and I only wish she had written another.
As romantic as this book is, I find the story of its conception just as compelling. Margaret Mitchell was a writer/journalist in the 1920s, which was an unusual profession for a woman of the time. She broke her ankle in 1927 and her husband was bringing her books from the library to read to pass the time. After she lamented because she had read all the historical books in the library, her husband reportedly said "Peggy, if you want another book, why don't you write your own?" And so she did. She used her vast knowledge of the Civil War to begin a story set at that time, with the support of her husband but hidden from her friends. She apparently hid the vast manuscripts under piles of towels to disguise them. When her ankle healed, Mitchell allegedly abandoned the manuscript but thankfully completed it at a later date, and the finished story was published in 1936.
Two titles Mitchell had considered for the story were "Tomorrow Is Another Day" and "Tote The Weary Load", before settling on "Gone With The Wind". To me, this anecdote illustrates how much effect a title can have on a book. Neither of the first two titles strike me as being remotely compelling compared to "Gone With The Wind."
I have never seen the film but am led to believe that it largely focuses on the romantic plot between Scarlett and Rhett. The book, however, is much much more than a romantic story. It is a novel about the human spirit, about human cruelty, about overcoming adversity. It is a historical novel in that it expertly illustrates life in the deep south at that time.
The story focuses on the Southern Belle Scarlett O'Hara, who in my opinion is one of the best literary characters ever. Scarlett is wonderfully flawed; she is stubborn, spoilt, vain and self centred. She manipulates people and situations to get what she wants. Yet at the same time she is passionate, spirited and strong. I found myself rooting for her, yet at times would quite happily have slapped her! She is by far the most well-developed character in the book.
The story starts with Scarlett flirting with a couple of local boys who tell her that Ashley Wikles is planning to propose to Melanie Hamilton , a revelation that shocks Scarlett more than the boys' tales of the war. Scarlett is in love with Ashley and cannot believe he wants to marry Melanie, who in Scarlett's opinion is weak. Scarlett decides to flirt with lots of men to make Ashley jealous, before declaring her love for him.
She does this at a barbeque on a neighbouring plantation. She confesses her love for Ashley in the library and although Ashley admits he loves her, he intends to marry Melanie. This exchange is witnessed by an enigmatic man named Rhett Butler, whom Scarlett has a confrontation with. Rhett is impressed by Scarlett's fiery sprirt and this exchange sets up the rest of the novel.
To sum up, Scarlett moves to Atlanta for the majority of the duration of the war, and the novel charts her and her family's/friend's fight for survival in their world which has been torn apart. At the same time Scarlett wrestles with her love for Ashley as well as her feelings for Rhett.
I don't want to give much of the plot away but if nothing else it beautifully illustrates the attitudes of the deep south as well as the background and reality of the war. The ending is "open" but fitting to the book and fitting to Scarlett's flighty character.
As I said before, Scarlett is flawed but also wonderfully compelling. She is scheming and selfish, yet throughout the novel her strength of character shines through. The image of her digging in the dirt at Twelve Oaks with her bare hands for vegetables sticks in my mind and sums Scarlett up perfectly. She has lowered herself - she, Scarlett, the Southern Belle who was born to dance and be waited on - to digging for food in order to keep herself and her remaining family alive. It is hard to imagine the Scarlett at the start of the novel doing this. Deep down, Scarlett wants to be like her gentle and elegant mother Ellen, who is a true Southern belle. But she has inherited her Irish father's fiery nature and it is clear that Scarlett will never be the Lady she wants to be.
Melanie is the direct opposite of Scarlett and in many ways is just as compelling. Melanie is fierce and loyal to those she cares about, and to Scarlett in particular. She is blissfully oblivious to Scarlett's infatuation with her husband and even defends Scarlett against gossip after India (Ashley's sister) catches Ashley and Scarlett in a compromising position. Melanie is everything Scarlett isn't, yet with the same (albeit less obvious) strength of character. Without Melanie, I don't think Scarlett's character would have worked quite so well. Melanie helps dilute some of Scarlett's brashness.
Ashley, although a gentleman and a soldier, comes across as weak and a dreamer. He falls for Scarlett's charms even though he is with Melanie. He is passionate about what he is fighting for, and is honorable and intelligent.
As with the Scarlett/Melanie contrast, Rhett is the opposite of Ashley. He is decisive and strong, yet rough and distasteful. Throughout the book it is revealed that he was once a seasoned gambler and has wounds from knife fights. He is viewed as a cad, and not welcome by most families of good repute, and unlike Ashley does not believe the south can win the war. On the other hand, Rhett has a good relationship with Scarlett's son Wade, and cares deeply for both Scarlett and their daughter Bonnie. However it is his inability to deal with Scarlett's feelings for Ashley that drives Scarlett away from him.
There are obviously many more characters in this book, some just as compelling as those mentioned above but it would take forever to list them all.
This is a very long book but very well worth reading, and is one of my favourite all-time books. It is worth reading simply to get to know Scarlett O'Hara, although it is also an excellent chronicle of the civil war and the racist attitudes of that time. It vividly shows the effect that the war had on the deep south and illustrates how much the peoples lifestyles had to change. The peaceful and affluent way of life they had lived for so long is "gone with the wind."
Gone With The Wind...
First why I got into the book -
At the age of twelve my grandmother gave me the book roots by Alex Haley before I had watched the film gone with the wind, and had nothing but disgust by how people was treat because of there colour. Yet not 6 months later my grandmother was brought the film gone with the wind, by my granddad as it was the movie they watched on their first date. I first refused to watch it, but as my grandma and granddad began to watch it I couldn't help but to be draw in, the music, characters and beauty of this film captivated me. The strength, beauty, courage and naivety of Katie Scarlett O'Hara made me feel for her and respect this woman, even wanted to be her. Thought I could not except at the time why these people treated another race so terrible, I learned to respect and love it for what it was, a story of a women's struggle to lose everything she known and to become strong willed and intelligent to survive the aftermath of the American civil war, and losing the real man she loved when she realised the man she thought she loved since she was 16 was just an infatuation because she only wanted him because she could not have him. A love story with a difference and in my view the best film and love story there is.
It was while I was ordering the gone with the DVD on Amazon when I came across the book, I ordered both and as a book worm got reading it straight this was less than a year ago and since I have read it 9 times, it is so much better than the film and has lots of things the film missed out.
Now after my very long introduction I will get onto my review!
I will warn if you haven't read before my plot line will give a lot away! The book is 1011 of small print, so to do this my review is very long, but believe me not as long as the book.
Gone with the wind was written in 1936, this was the only book written by the author Margret Mitchell, there has been sequels such as Scarlett, Rhett butlers' people and a parody the wind done good.
It starts with Scarlett entertaining red headed twin beau's Brent and Stuart Tarleton on the porch of the plantation Tara in Clayton County. The boys are rambling on to Scarlett about talks of the upcoming war, which bores Scarlett has she has no interest in war or politics. To get Scarlett to stay they tell her about Ashley Wilkes intentions of marrying his cousin Melanie Hamilton. Scarlett is upset and angry at this news and when they leave goes to find her father Gerald, who has been visiting the Twelve Oaks plantation to buy Dilcey a slave who is married to Pork a slave at Tara. Scarlett discoverers the rumor is true and shows her emotions to her father who tells her that Ashley is not for her and she has many other beaus'.
Scarlett believes that the reason Ashley is marring Melanie because he doesn't know she loves him, and plans telling him but not before she tries to make him jealous by flirting with all the men at the Twelve Oaks BBQ, and catch the eye of Rhett butler who then later witnesses her confessing her love for Ashley. Ashley does not answer her straight Other than saying love is not enough to make a successful marriage and that he will be marring Melanie. Rhett makes is presence know for Scarlett to declare he is no gentleman, which he tells her she is no lady, but ladies hold no charm for him.
The war was announced and Charles asks for Scarlett's hand in marriage, she says yes. In two weeks she had become a wife and within two months a widow. Not before having Charles's son Wade, and living with aunt Pittypat and Melanie in Atlanta.
Scarlett and Melanie work as nurses which Scarlett detests. Later she and Melanie volunteer to help at a bazaar. They again come across Rhett butler, a blockade runner.
Ashley comes home for Christmas. Scarlett is jealous and when Ashley leaves they share an embraced only to be short lived as Melanie is pregnant.
Atlanta is under siege and with Scarlett promising Ashley she would take care of Melanie, she, wade and prissy a slave cannot leave as Melanie is too weak to have a baby. Melanie eventually gives birth and almost dies. With the baby born and Scarlett sends prissy to find Rhett to get them to safety. Rhett returns with a horse and wagon and begins to take them on the road to Tara. Rhett announces he is going to join the army, and kisses and tells Scarlett he loves her. Scarlett is so angry all calls him a cad.
Finally arriving at Tara, Scarlett finds her mother dead, her sisters ill, her father insane, the house ruined by the Yankees and most of the slaves gone. With everyone looking to Scarlett for care, this up to recently sheltered privileged young woman is bore the weight of her family; she learns to see how precious land and wealth are. When a lone Yankee solider comes to steal from Tara she shoots him and is helped by Melanie to take his possessions and bury him. After all the love Melanie has bestowed on scarlet it is really only now she has any sort of admiration for her strength.
The war is over with the south defeated. Passing soldiers stay for food and shelter at Tara, including Will Benteen, who stays and helps Scarlett run Tara. Ashley returns home to Tara after he had been realized from a Yankee prison, both Melanie and Scarlett are delighted. Scarlett is told the taxes on Tara have been raised in a plot for Tara to be owned by a carpetbagger the old overseer at Tara.
Scarlett travels to Atlanta to get the taxes from Rhett who is in jail, dressed up like the war has not affected her and offers to become his mistress, for a slight moment he is fooled until her hands rough from doing hard labour give her away. Rhett is secretly hurt and says he won't give her the money.
Later she runs into Frank Kennedy, Scarlett's sister Suellens fiancée who is doing well in business. Scarlett tells Frank her sister is going to marry someone else, and plays ignorant to any dealing with business and makes Frank feel proud and respond to her girlish ways and later he marries Scarlett. Scarlett is impatient and frustrated with franks lack of drive and with him in no rush to buy the lumber mills. She borrows money of Rhett who is out of jail to by the mill. Every one is scandalized by a woman in business and Scarlett is looked down on. Scarlett does not care and only see's money as a salvation from ever being cold and hungry. Scarlett makes a huge success of the business, but this only infuriates people more, especially her husband, who thinks she will settle down once she has a baby. Soon Ella Lorena is born.
Scarlett's father Gerald dies and Scarlett returns to Tara. She soon is informed of suellens part in her father's death. Suellen had tried to get Gerald in the condition he was in to get to sign a oath to the Yankees for money, Gerard regaining a little of himself flies into a rage and rides of falling from his horse and breaking his neck. Will tells of his intentions to marry Suellen even though he is in love with careen, Scarlett's other sister, as he loves Tara and won't be able to stay once careen has become a nun and Ashley and Melanie move to New York, Scarlett offers Ashley a job in her lumber mill to stop him leaving, when he refuses, Scarlett appeals to Melanie who won't refuse Scarlett for all her love for her and Scarlett's being there for her.
Despite Franks believes that when Scarlett became a mother again she would give up business, he is let down as Scarlett still runs the mill, using the opportunity to see Ashley. She is attacked by a white and a black man in a shanty town, and later that day to the Ku Klux Klan, including Frank and Ashley raid the shanty town. Rhett is informed that the Yankees was expecting trouble and warns Melanie and finds Ashley hurt and frank dead, for an alibi he tells the Yankees Ashley and the other men was with him at prostitute Belle Watling.
With Frank dead, after the funeral Rhett proposes to Scarlett who agrees. Scarlett enjoys the riches what come of being married to Rhett, and Rhett spoils her and the children. Alas Scarlett is still in love with Ashley. Scarlett soon becomes pregnant with another girl Eugenia Victoria, but is soon nicknamed bonnie due to her blue eyes being like the Bonnie Blue flag. Scarlett soon after informs him she doesn't want any more children. Rhett is angered and turns his love and attention to bonnie.
Scarlett fetches Ashley from the mill and in a for once innocent embrace is caught out by friends of Melanie. At the party Melanie does not believe the rumors and does not have any doubt in Scarlett or her husband. On the return from the party, Scarlett after a meeting a jealous, drunken shadow of Rhett. We meet a very different Rhett than the charming, quick witted man, he is enraged by jealously and taunts Scarlett and then in a plea to Scarlett tells her he loves her, something he has not done without looking insincere before. Scarlett does not know whether or not to believe this and walks away, Rhett chases after her and kisses her hardly, and Scarlett refuses at first but the fact she could not bully him sets of a passion in her and she gives in. In the morning it is obvious they have had sex and Scarlett is on the top of the moon. But Rhett didn't return for two days and when he does it's to leave and take bonnie with him.
She misses Rhett and Bonnie, and finds out she is pregnant for the very first time she is happy to be pregnant. Rhett returned and Scarlett was thrilled until Rhett was his usual self and when she told her she was pregnant he told her to cheer up and maybe she would have a miscarriage, Scarlett went to hit Rhett when she was stood of the stairs, Rhett sidestepped out the way and Scarlett fell downstairs losing the baby.
Later in time Bonnie dies when falling of a pony which Rhett gave her. Both Scarlett and Rhett grieve, with Scarlett blaming Rhett and Rhett blaming himself. Scarlet realizes it really wasn't Rhett fault but there is something between them now and cant apologize, but she plans to give him another child.
Scarlett was away in Marietta when Rhett telegraphed him to inform her of Melanie. She rushed home to find Melanie was dying as she had gotten pregnant when she was warned not to and now was miscarrying. Melanie on her death bed makes Scarlett promise to her that she will take care of her son and Ashley and Rhett as he loves you so. Scarlett for once realizes the love and unselfishness of Melanie and her love in return.
After she leaves Melanie she talks with a devastated Ashley, she realizes she never really loved Ashley and must of loved Rhett for all these years but couldn't see, so she rushesof to find Rhett.
On returning home is fears Rhett is drunk and hopes not as she wants him to believe her, she informs him of Melanie's death and her last wishes. Rhett thinks that it must be good to have the first wives consent. She declares her love for him and only wanting Ashley because she could not have him. Rhett confirms he had loved her with all his heart but now his heart will take no more hurt. He tells he is leaving her Scarlett asks him what she should do which he replies 'my dear, I don't give a damn. The book ends with Scarlett vowing to think about it tomorrow at Tara. 'I'll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day'.
I hope you enjoyed reading, thought it was very lengthy believe me I have only gave simple overlook of the book. My review can't tell of the well written and struggle of Scarlett I the aftermath of the civil war.
This book I a must read.
I am Amy I need a very strong cup of coffee now!
The book is about the telling of Scarlett, but not through her eyes. You feel and get attached to the characters and their lives.
Gone with the wind is a fictional novel, but Margret Mitchell did research through history and relatives to make an accurate telling of the fall of the old south. My only complaint is not enough is mentioned about slavery, and except for a few words the slaves seemed a part of the family, such as pork or mammy. I'm sure there was some slaves who felt apart of the family, and wasn't mistreated but from experiences from reading books such as roots and history, it wasn't the case. My only way I could explain this could be is that it is the telling of Scarlett and as a privileged young girl, when her family owned slaves she wouldn't have been involved with that side, and that would have been left to the overseer.
Even though a huge part of me felt like most slave owners got what was coming to them, it was a rare view to see the way life was for them, sort of like the roles had been reversed. The way they could not vote unless they sided with the Yankee's who robbed and raped their women, hanged men for taking revenged. It was mentioned that this was why Ashley and frank reluctantly joined the klu klux klan, because nothing would have been done to protect them. Another point in the book was about a black man who was encourage to rape a white women by a carpetbagger, a relative of this women killed the black man who attacked her and had to run away to Texas to stop himself being hanged.
This book is wonderfully written and easy to read, I could not put it down. My sadness is that Margret Mitchell did not write her own sequel. There is a sequel called Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, though it is a good read, I found some parts far fetched and un Scarlett like. There is also Rhett Butler's People, which is written by another author, telling of Rhett butlers pint of view during the same time as Gone with the wind. There is also a parody called the wind done good. Which when I first saw it I thought great, as this is suppose to be a view point of a slave on Tara, which if you have read above, you know that is what I thought was missing. This book trashes gone with the wind. It is about a slave who is Scarlett's half sister who Rhett really loves and only is with Scarlett as she reminds him of her sister. The black characters instead of being represented I felt it portrayed them in a very bad light, for instance pork killing all the sons of Gerard and Ellen O'Hara. I stopped reading after 6 chapters. Though I now know a parody is suppose to be mocking, I felt I wasn't well written and instead of proving a point all it did was make the author look bad and that she was trying to ruin a great novel even if she didn't agree with it.
I didn't really want to write a review about this book as the other members have already done such a good job in summarizing the plot and characters. But I couldnt resist as it is such a beautiful and moving book, one of the best I have ever read.
It dosnt have a traditionally happy ending, and I have to admit I cried buckets of tears, shamelessly. However the lessons to be learned from the lives of these characters so beautifully brought to life, are endless.
I could relate to Scarlett on so many levels her head strongness, her survival instinct, self confidence and even selfishness, all felt so familiar. I wept with a passion when I realized how right Rhett Butler and Scarlett were for each other and how through lack of communication and pride they were doomed from the start. I screamed with frustration with Scarlett's ridiculous infatuation with the milksop Ashly Wilkes. And I was filled with shame at Melanies sweet and trusting spirit, that till the end stood by Scarlett, who never really deserved her admiration.
You fall in love with these characters that are so richly described that you feel like you have known them their whole lives and that you yourself live in Georgia and just around the corner from Tara and Four Oaks...
This is a history book, a romantic novel, character study and most of all Gone With the Wind.
This is SO MUCH better than the film! Ignore the picture on the front of this edition, which is vile, and get straight into reading it. You WILL NOT be disappointed.
The setting is fantastic. Margaret Mitchell used stories from her own family to make it real, and boy does she do it well! Never was a history lesson so interesting! Did people really live like that? How could they have managed? DId they really treat black people like that? DId they really act like that to the southerners? Read it and find out!
The storyline is so much fuller than the film, which takes a tiny part of it, and simplifies the characters. Reading the book and finding out the background to a lot of things helps them all make so much more sense. I can't emphasise enough how much longer the story is and how much better.
The beauty of this book for me is the 'how would I manage?' factor. These people lived through terrible times. War is unbearable - and people reacted in different ways. Apart from the everyday problems of finding shelter and enough to eat, there was love and childbirth and making a living on top of it all!
The story of Scarlett O'Hara isn't just a love story, it's a story of wealth vs poverty, war, hunger, strength of spirit, wanting what you can't have, being a woman, class struggles, and so much more.
I have shied away from writing a review of Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell ever since starting to enjoy writing on this site. The main reason for this is that it is one of my all time favourite books (an unusual thing since I'm a great fan of the horror genre) and I have never thought that I could do it justice. But needs must and I just couldn't resist the temptation any longer. *~*~*~*~* THE AUTHOR *~*~*~*~* Ok, Gone With The Wind was begun by Margaret Mitchell in 1928. It took her seven years to write this, her only novel, and a further eight months to check the thousands of historical & social references contained within the novel. Margaret Mitchell herself was born in Atlanta, Georgia (where the book is set) in 1902 and died following a car accident in 1949. The book has sold over twelve million copies and has been translated into over 27 languages as well as winning the Pulitzer Prize. The book was also adapted for the big screen and made into a movie in 1939. The movie was, and remains, a huge success and won an unprecedented 9 Academy Awards. In 1991, the Margaret Mitchell Estate chose Alexandra Ripley, a Southern American author, to write a sequel to Gone With The Wind named 'Scarlett' and the search began for an actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in a 'sequel' to the original picture. The book and the movie weren't a huge success this time, but that is to be expected as magic like that is rarely repeated. Having read the sequel by Alexandra Ripley, I can say that it is an extremely well written and hugely enjoyable book. *~*~*~*~* THE BOOK *~*~*~*~* Gone With The Wind is the story of Scarlett O'Hara and the twists and turns her life takes during the American Civil War, Scarlett is the pampered daughter of an Irish plantation owner named Gerald O'Hara. We join Scarlett as a spoilt and pampered 16-year-old Southern Belle, before the war has broken out and whilst her li
fe and worries are centred solely on what to wear to the next party and how many men she can attract with her 'magnolia skin, 17 inch waist and green eyes'. Of course, she attracts many as she is very charming and even more single-minded, but her heart is set upon winning the affections of Ashley Wilkes, the son of a nearby plantation owner. For Scarlett, owning slaves is as natural to her as having two sisters; the name of the plantation is 'Tara'. The Wilkes are having a party and Scarlett has made up her mind that she will declare her love for Ashley at the party as she has heard tell that he intends to announce his engagement to Melanie Hamilton, a cousin of the Wilkes. The day of the party arrives and Scarlett flirts outrageously with every man there in order to make Ashley jealous. All, in fact, her flirting achieves is the cattiness of every other Belle and also serves to bring her to the attention of guest Rhett Butler, a jaded character who 'isn't received' within the strict constraints of Southern society's rules. Scarlett manages to get Ashley alone and a scene ensues when she declares her feelings for him and is rejected. Unbeknown to her, Rhett Butler witnesses the scene and declares himself when Ashley leaves, making Scarlett feel foolish and embarrassed. Ashley announces his engagement to Melanie just as the men are called up to war and in a fit of pique, Scarlett agrees to marry Charles, Melanie's brother. The war begins and within months Scarlett finds herself a widow with a young baby. She goes to Atlanta, on the surface to grieve but in reality because she feels her life is over before it's begun and stays with Melanie and her Aunt Pitty, all the better to be close to Ashley when he comes home. Rhett Butler re-appears and eventually manages to drag Scarlett out of her widow's weeds, encouraging her to break with protocol wherever possible. Scarlett believes herself to be a '
;great lady' and above the charms of Rhett and doesn't realise how much he is manipulati ng her just by giving her the things that are in her nature to want. From there we follow Scarlett through all of the hardship she endures during the war after she goes home to Tara to discover her beloved mother dead and her father a broken man. Scarlett is the one to whom the entire family turn when thins are hard and it is up to her to feed them all and keep her beloved Tara from the Yankees. Her scheming and determination make for great reading in this part of the book and the historical detail is wonderful. Not to go into too much detail (or my op will be as long as the book itself!), the war ends and we follow Scarlett as she becomes a hard-bitten business woman who is determined that the only way to gain any security is to make money, and lots of it. Of course she does eventually marry Rhett after dallying with a marriage to the spineless Frank Kennedy who is killed in a raid upon the secret Klu-Klux Klan that he is a part of. The marriage to Rhett is a book in itself and really the whole reason behind the book. Scarlett still yearns for Ashley and we see the struggle Rhett has to make her love him without revealing his feelings, we also see how 'at cross purposes' they are as again and again they run away from each other. *~*~*~*~* THE CHARACTERS *~*~*~*~* The characters in the book are all excellent. Scarlett is a wonderfully strong-willed and determined woman who is a misfit in the time in which she lived. Her frustration is evident as she struggles to do all the things that are deemed 'unseemly' for a lady of her class. There are times when her stubbornness make you as a reader want to shake her for not seeing the things that could make her happy, but of course if she saw them sooner the book would not be such a brilliant read. Rhett is a wonderfully romantic figure. Strong, rich, handsome and da
shing with a sense of danger and a sense of humour and filled with love for Scarlett and later their daughter, Bonnie. But Rhett has a dangerous edge to him too, which makes him even more appealing.... Ashley is a Southern gentleman to the tip of his fingertips. Filled with a sense of honour, he refuses to leave Melanie for Scarlett when she begs him to take her away from all of her heartache. A man of books and slow horse rides through the country, Scarlett doesn't understand him at all and also doesn't understand why this very fact would make her miserable. Melanie is a quiet, frail woman who turns out to be a true champion and friend to Scarlett. The fact that Scarlett doesn't see this or recognise the quality of Melanie's friendship is testament to the fact that she can be very stupid and blind. Though Melanie is kind and gentle, she is another strong female character in her own way, she stands by the people she loves come hell or high water. The rest of the characters contained within the book all add to the spirit of the time and the struggles that Scarlett has to endure, especially India, Ashley's sister who hates Scarlett and would do anything to hurt her but often causes hurt to Ashley & Melanie whilst trying to. Aunt Pitty is amusing, a silly woman given to the vapours. Archie, a man hired to drive Scarlett when times are dangerous for a woman to be unchaperoned, is a great character, what you would call 'colourful'. *~*~*~*~* CONCLUSION *~*~*~*~* This is a brilliant book! Rich in historical detail with characters who are almost real, so fleshed out are they. I have read this countless times and though I tell myself that this time I won?t enjoy it so much, I always get lost in it. The fact that it took the author so long to write is no surprise as the research must have been intense. But she pulled it off and you would have trouble believing that Margaret Mitchell wasn't in fact S
carlett. This book made me laugh a little, cry a lot, feel like shaking a lot of the characters and fall in love with Rhett Butler! Thanks for the read! Kes:)
I know it's unusual to begin reviewing a book by describing your feelings when the story ends, but by doing so, I am hoping to convey just how compelling the historical novel Gone with the Wind is. I had read avidly for many weeks, often staying up late at night unable to put away Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie and Ashley and how did I feel when I read those final immortal lines "Frankly my Dear I don't give a damn" and "I'll think about it at Tara - after all Tomorrow is Another Day"............Frankly I felt bereft. Margaret Mitchell's talent at bringing those characters, together with the many others in the story, to life is amazing. Who could fail to picture Scarlett with her green eyes and Rhett with his sardonic grin when they had been portrayed so descriptively. After only one chapter the reader becomes Scarlett and Rhett comes to life soon afterwards so is it surprising that at the end of the book, I was at a loss as to what to do with myself, it had made such an impact . I truly believe I was in love with Rhett myself at that time and ending the book was like breaking up with a longstanding lover. Most people will,I am sure, know the story and I don't wish to spoil it for those who don't, I will however say that the book does differ somewhat from the film in some small ways for example in the book Scarlett has two children, a boy and a girl, but it would of course be almost impossible for a film to portray every single word written - it would be 7/8 hours long instead of 4. Having said that, the film has remained true to the storyline as far as humanly possible and nobody but Vivienne Leigh could have portrayed Scarlett and Clark Gable will always in my mind be Rhett Butler. People had often suggested I read this novel and rather grandly I had replied "I don't like reading romances" or "it's just not my sort of book". However, having joined a book club and bein
g stuck for something to select during one of my compulsory months, I picked Gone with the Wind in desperation, hoping I could fob it off to somebody as a present at a later point (mean or what!!). And then I had a bored moment with nothing to do. I idly picked the book up, meaning to glance through it. I read the first lines and guess what.........I was thoroughly hooked. As well as Scarlett and Rhett, Margaret Mitchell brings other characters to life, from Ashley - Scarlett's love obsession and Melanie's husband, to Mammy the family slave. The reader yearns, as does Scarlett, to be like her gentle but dignified mother whose husband is an Irish American immigrant much in awe of her and it is easy to feel irritation at the dizzy sisters who are unable to cope with the crisis of the American Civil War. The book goes further than just being a romantic novel however, it is a very accurate account of the War at this time, Margaret Mitchell herself being Atlanta born whose ancestors had regaled her with stories of that particular period. We read of the march on Georgia and Atlanta and of the many famous American heroes of the time, including Abraham Lincoln and Robert E Lee. We read of the hardships endured by the people in the deep south who had previously lived through an era of great gentility only to have this brutally snatched away. There are descriptions of the destruction of the time and the battles and subsequent family tragedies that occur. From ballrooms and flower gardens the scenes change to flattened mansions and stripped cotton fields, all described in vivid and presumably very accurate detail. I am sure part of this book's appeal is that the two main female heroines have characteristics contained in the personality make-up of most women. Scarlett on the one hand is selfish, wilful and spiteful, with an almost complete lack of conscience, whereas Melanie is giving, calm, dignified and loving. When reading the
book, I often had empathy with Scarlett, but at other times I could see myself as Melanie and I am convinced this is one of the reasons for the book's popularity. And what woman wouldn't fall in love with Rhett. Sardonic, but caring, strong but fragile - a shoulder to cry on whenever necessary and rich and intelligent - oh for such a man to exist!!! (sorry any male readers). As I've stated I don't intend to give away the plot except to say that the story covers Scarlett's unrequited love for Ashley who although handsome and debonaire, turns out to be rather weak and selfish. Added to this is the plot of Rhett's equally strong love for Scarlett who is headstrong, intelligent but wilful and egotistic. There is an open ending and the reader can make up her (or even his) own mind as to what happens next. There was a sequel made however by another author, however this never equalled the magic of the original and personally I feel Margaret Mitchell's ending that TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY is best left untouched for many others to enjoy. I've never been able to read the book again, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I enjoyed it too much and could never be so entranced again the story has however never entirely Gone With the Wind. Read and Enjoy.
First published in 1936, this book is a historical novel set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War. It tells the love story of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.