Nicko's Reviews > Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
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really liked it
Recommended for: Confederates

** spoiler alert ** So much has been said in praise of this book it feels redundant to add more. In terms of the slave-holding society, the film actually toned-down the pro-South view of Reconstruction (Scarlett's second husband joined the KKK in the book) and Mammy remains probably one of the most fully-developed and likeable African-American characters from 1930 you'll read.

Rhett Butler is the consummate alpha male. This book is definitely the timeless classic reputation it has earned, and though at times it seemed like the longest book ever, it is all worth it in the end. It touches on many misunderstood aspects of the civil war and its afterwords. What many people do not realize is how horrible it really was for Southerners after the war, mostly because they cannot get past the racism of the times (which it wasn't as if the North was full of equality and peace, either). If you can accept the times for what they were, you will see how well this book was written. I appreciate it for the well built characters, smooth flow, and albeit romanticized- depiction of the Antebellum South.

As far as being politically incorrect or the modern charges that the book is "racist," remember that this book was written in the 1930s. Not to mention, the time period is the Civil War era! To be completely unracist would not have depicted the era correctly. As if it represents anything more than the way people thought when it was made. Of course, it's racist. America is and has been a racist society since the beginning. This book mirrors the opinions held by the people alive and working at the time, no more and certainly no less. Have opinions changed since then? Of course, as society evolves so does the writing. All this aside, the character of "Mammy" is one of the most likeable and respected characters in the book. Rhett Butler treats her very well, and tries to win her approval. She’s the one person throughout the novel who sees through everyone’s follies and foibles, but remains forgiving of them anyway. There's a reason this book won so many awards and still endures! It is a timeless classic that everyone should enjoy and read in context.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 1, 1999 – Finished Reading
February 25, 2008 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Heidi I'm actually on page 75 right now and totally hooked. I am a fourth grade teacher. I teach my students about the history of our country, good and bad. Not everything in the past is the type of stuff as Americans we are proud of but it is important to know where we came from. If you don't acknowledge the mistakes and racism of the past you won't ever learn from it. I feel like it is a glimpse into that time period and I am personally fascinated. I loved your review and it makes me want to finish the book even faster!

message 2: by Bluedaizy (new) - added it

Bluedaizy Well written review!

Tiff At one point i thought this was one of the best books written but now that i'm wiser i think about the fact that black people weren't represented like they should have been. Mammy was the only sensible character throughout the whole book. And the stereotypes about black people was spilling over throughout this book. i give it 3 stars.

Pinchy Excellent review. Gives me a lot to think about regarding the south in its historical context

Rhonda Excellent review! I love Gone with the Wind for many of the same reasons you have listed. Your review makes me want to pick up the book and read it again!

message 6: by Sherri (new) - added it

Sherri Barr Very good review...I read this book as a teen and now I'm going to read it again.Thanks for this perception of your read.

Barbara Murphy I am English reading the book for first time and thought your review mirrored many of my thoughts. Thank you.

message 8: by Zebarian (new)

Zebarian Kaleb Yes this book is wonderful its a long read but it grabs you by the collar and takes your breathe away until the end..... its a very real emotion, whenever I see the movie, even then I feel as though im beening swept away to relive that era....... very touching

message 9: by Zebarian (new)

Zebarian Kaleb 5 stars

message 10: by T (last edited Sep 08, 2015 08:28AM) (new)

T Moore Nicko: Good review.

I read the review because of your picture, your 4 star rating and your "R" for confederates comment - HAHAHAHA.

I waited years to read the book. Did it couple years ago. Found it is well written and deserving of praise.

But, always with the caveat, it still must be seen in the context of its racism, its revisionist history and its reactionary purpose regarding this country's social order.

Important to understand: There was a strong post reconstruction revisionist movement throughout America's intellectual community to attempt to heal and bring the nation back together (in the end, it was racist - however well meaning towards the South, in general, it was).

That this book received a Pulitzer Price speaks volumes to the quality of the writer/novel. While at the same time, the depths the nation had sunk into with its acceptance of Jim Crow as an acceptable way of life for all of us.

One should compare how Huckleberry Finn differs from GWTW. While, it shows the treatment, training and mindset of those living around slavery and freely uses the "nigger' with emphasis, the book is clearly anti-slavery/racism. GWTW fails this test. HF is about Huck's challenge to change himself and free himself from the intolerance and stupidity of his racism and racist surroundings. Besides, I'd rather be called a nigger than a picaninny any day of the week - wouldn't you??

The American people/readers who read this must understand, Jim Crow yet lives and slavery (for all colors) is making a strong come back here and worldwide. Gone With The Wind must always be read in the context of its racism. Only, then go ahead and enjoy it if you can. I enjoyed the book - but, I had my eyes open too.

"Rhett Butler's People" by Donald McCaig is a must follow on read. Maybe, a better book too!

message 11: by Wen (new) - added it

Wen well writen

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