Loederkoningin's Reviews > Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
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I tossed and turned but couldn't sleep, having just finished Gone with the Wind somewhere after midnight. I tried Scarlett's famous line "I'll think of it tomorrow", but eventually got out of bed, pushed open a window to let the cool, crisp air in and stared out over the city in the distance. I had no idea that this book - which I reluctantly took with me in public because people would either brightly state that I was "reading a big book" or innocently ask if it was anything like Danielle Steel (darn that cover!) - would appeal so to my romantic heart. And would leave me sleepless and depressed, for I unconsciously feared but never fully expected it to spiral down into destruction and despair.

To think that the Margaret Mitchell Foundation would approve of a - according to reviewers rather trashy - sequel like Scarlett, immensely popular because it ultimately brings (I suppose this still is a spoiler to some) (view spoiler)

Spunky Scarlett made me smirk and laugh so many times. She's fiercely independent and interestingly flawed. I can't believe people actually write this book off because she isn't one of those sympathetic heroines. Yes, she's utterly selfish, lacks empathy and is incapable of retrospection or analysis. But intentionally mean she is not. And I would not dare call her stupid either, as some reviewers did. When you manage to bounce back and run a business after your entire world has gone up in flames, you're simply not stupid.
Can you tell I am quite fond of her? This made her path of destruction all the more tragic. Despite her turbulent life, she never quite developed her personality or became a "better person". For a while, I wondered if this should frustrate me, but then realized how morally blasé it would be to have her "pay" for her wickedness in the end. And how toe-curling to have Rhett's love turn her into an understanding wife and mother. Yegh.

While Mitchell herself seems to have had a love and hate affair with her beloved South - she never quite fit in either - in Gone with the Wind she paints the image of an idealized mythical South nonetheless. As much as I enjoyed the romantic gloss, I never bought into her Utopia. Girls like Scarlett may have slumbered sweetly for a while, loving their ruffling dresses, beaux and barbecues. But I can only feel sorry for the Belle's - smothered in a corset of chastity - who had to downplay their intelligence to not outshine their oh so chivalrous protective men. The cracks the Civil War caused in the sheltered society of rich planters, must ironically enough have freed women like Scarlett and provided them with new perspectives.

Not to mention those "carelessly laughing slaves plucking cotton"! (ough!) I decided to stay away from the everlasting racism debate, Gone with the Wind keeps fuelling. Everything has been said before. I do wish there was a version available in which the slaves' accents are less "prominent". Maybe it's because I'm Dutch, but I didn't figure out what "gempmum" meant until page 700-something.

Oh, having finished compelling books of biblical proportions is always so unfortunate: terrible withdrawals! Luckily there's still the - equally epic - movie, insightful books and tons of interesting articles on the Internet.
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Reading Progress

04/22/2011 page 100
04/24/2011 page 600
59.0% "oh!<3"
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Kat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kat So by 5 stars and reading 1500 pages in a week are you saying that it was alright?? :p

I will start it as soon as i finish up Name of the Wind... which is also a HUGE novel! What are you starting next?

Loederkoningin Eep you're right..I did read this bible within a week. I know you feel reluctant about picking it up, but I'm excited to to find out what YOU think, so I'll try to write a sparkling review soon - not that I have much to add to the thousands of five stars ratings. Uhu, did you notice its average rating? ;-)
Rebecca is probably next....

message 3: by Kat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kat Today was the first day i have left the ranch since Tuesday..... I kid you not. I am not sure if I can honestly blame it on the fact that I was feeling rather under the weather, or if all the blame goes to the fact that I was reading this book!!! Reading/devouring... same thing.
I have been laughing out loud, gasping, and swooning for a week straight. Someone please fetch my smelling salts.

message 4: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I'm American and have no idea what "gempmum" is.

Loederkoningin Ha, that's reassuring.

Loederkoningin It means "gentlemen" btw, who would've thought?

Christy I should probably let you know how "beaux" is spelled. Sorry, grammar Nazi habit/pet peeve.

Loederkoningin Ah, thanks! Fixed it.

KatieMc Don't ask me why I just stumbled across your review. GWTW is one of my all time favorites. I love Scarlett, she is so kick-ass and quite the survivor, even if she thought she was in love with mealy-mouthed Ashley. Did you ever watch the movie? It is a classic and great cinema, but it cuts out about 1/3 of the book.

Loederkoningin KatieMc wrote: "Don't ask me why I just stumbled across your review. GWTW is one of my all time favorites. I love Scarlett, she is so kick-ass and quite the survivor, even if she thought she was in love with me..."

Well dang it, another missed comment! You loved this book too!:) I thought Scarlett was incredible. She was realistically flawed and is one of the few characters that I, when thinking back to this book, regard as a real person rather than a book character. She somehow managed to snatch a piece of my heart.

And yes to the movie! What do you think of the casting? And have you ever considered reading Scarlett?

KatieMc Loederkoningin wrote: "And yes to the movie! What do you think of the casting? And have you ever considered reading Scarlett? ..."

I confess that I read it in an attempt to keep the characters alive. I really don't recommend it unless (view spoiler)

Loederkoningin Nah, I don't. I thought the ending was perfection.

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