Gone With The Wind By Margaret Mitchell

Nov 25, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Book Emporium, Hang Out

Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. It depicts the experiences of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner.

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, Mitchell’s historical epic tells an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a divided nation and a people forever changed.

It tells the story of the beautiful and ruthless Scarlett O’Hara and the charismatic Rhett Butler.

Gone with the Wind is both a romance and a meditation on the changes that swept the American South in the 1860s. The novel begins in 1861, in the days before the Civil War, and ends in 1871, after the Democrats regain power in Georgia. The South changes completely during the intervening years, and Mitchell’s novel illustrates the struggles of the Southern people who live through the Civil War era.

The novel opens in prewar Georgia, where tradition, chivalry, and pride thrive. As the Civil War begins, the setting shifts to Atlanta, where the war causes the breakdown of traditional gender roles and power structures. When the South loses the war and the slaves are freed, putting a stop to the Southern way of life, the internal conflict intensifies. White men fear black men, Southerners hate profiteering or domineering Northerners, and impoverished aristocrats resent the newly rich. Mitchell’s main characters embody the conflicting impulses of the South. Ashley stands for the Old South; nostalgic and unable to change, he weakens and fades. Rhett, on the other hand, opportunistic and realistic, thrives by planting one foot in the Old South and one foot in the New.

The book is a chronicle of American high society during and after the American Civil War. An extremely well researched venture, it documents the ravages of war on a peaceful society and the post war resettlement.

Margaret Mitchell’s classic tale of love in hard times is much more than just a romance. Scarlett O’Hara, a 16-year-old Southern belle, is quite the whippersnapper. Set during the Civil War, the novel follows her through war, destruction, and unrequited love. Mitchell gives readers such an intimate view of Scarlett’s mind that though you may not like her, you respect her and want her to triumph.

The novel begins with Scarlett in carefree Southern society as the most desired girl in the county. But when Ashley Wilkes, the man she loves, ­announces that he is going to marry someone else, Scarlett’s world starts to fall apart. Hastily marrying in order to make Ashley jealous, she sets off a series of events that lead her further into despair. One day, as she is scavenging for food in another’s garden, she decides that “there [is] no going back, and she [is] going forward.” From that day on there is a cold hardness in her heart. She is willing to do anything to get what she wants. Through the changes in society and her soul, Scarlett moves forward.

Gone with the Wind is 959 pages of perseverance and fortitude. Not once does Scarlett back down; not once does she lose a fight, well, except to Rhett Butler. Their relationship is one that has lasted decades in the hearts and minds of people around the world. One can say that Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler’s tale comes close to that of Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester or Catherine and Heathcliff. The story Mitchell wrote for them is enticing and heartbreaking at the same time.

I didn’t think I would like Gone with the Wind because it was centered around the Civil War, but I soon realized that it isn’t about war, but rather the effects of it.

If you are looking for a story that will stay with you for years to come, pick this up. Gone with the Wind is an everlasting love story, and an inspiring tale of perseverance.

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