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Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind

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Author: Margaret Mitchell

Best Part About this Book: How can I describe it? What quality about this book makes this the book that I read every year, and have even braved it in German to relive the story again? I suppose that I only know what makes this book the best for me, and that’s the strongest female characters in literature that I know. Most of all, Scarlett, who faces such odds and who still manages to never give up. Though her morals are at times questionable, her feistiness, willfulness, and courage are an example to every woman.

And there’s the love triangle. The passion of these people in their romances…

What’s Missing: I’m not sure how this book goes over for men. Since it’s one of the bestselling books of all time, I have no doubt that men have read it and enjoyed it; nevertheless I think ultimately it is written by a woman, about women, for women.

Also, there’s the “Lady and the Tiger” ending. Does Scarlett end up with Rhett? Of course in “Scarlett” by Alexandra Ripley we find out her interpretation of the story, but to borrow a quote from the great author herself, Margaret Mitchell would turn in her grave to know what Alexandra Ripley did to her storyline and style. I prefer to decide for myself, and every time I read the book I change my mind. Sometimes I think that Scarlett and Rhett have changed too much, and it’s hopeless to try to start over. Other times I think that there’s never been something Scarlett hasn’t been able to achieve when she sets her mind to it. Or perhaps Rhett was just distressed at Melly’s death, and perhaps Scarlett is only interested in him because she’s lost Ashley. The mind can generate a thousand possibilities. Margaret Mitchell, in not ending the book with a “happily ever after” allowed the book to live on and Scarlett to never die.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Although it’s a historically accurate if sympathetic-to-the-South portrayal during the Civil War, it’s tragic to view the derogatory way in which black people were viewed: like children, incapable of thinking for themselves, and better enslaved than free. Margaret Mitchell also portrays the Ku Klux Klan quite differently from what we know it as today. Thank goodness the Civil War turned out as it did, but the Southern values of civility, grace, and hospitality are admirable and missed.

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