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Archived 2013 Group Reads > Gone with the wind, Week 3 - Chapters 7-9

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message 1: by Kara (new)

Kara Hoping nobody minds, but I don't want us to get too far behind. Plus -- I'm kind of interested in where the book is going!

A theme to get us started (stolen from Sparknotes): What values and lifestyles do Tara and Atlanta represent? How does Scarlett change as a result of her interactions with these two settings?

message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) | 140 comments Great question! I think what's interesting about Scarlet's pedigree (for lack of a better term) is that it's so stereotypically Southern. No one can even acknowledge that this could be a long war and that the South may very well not win.

I feel like Tara and Atlanta are old school, and that with the changes from the war they are in flux - more Atlanta than Tara. Tara being in the country seems a bit more insulated. The war effort is happening full force in Atlanta, and of course, knowing what we know from US History, Atlanta is about to be the front line of the war. It's interesting how Mitchell sets this up in these chapters, by talking about how the rail lines intersect and come into Atlanta, and how it has grown as a hub of commerce and transportation. Those always end up being strategic targets in wars.

What does everyone think about the second meeting of Rhett and Scarlet. I love that he just has her number and calls it out. He totally riles her up, but in those moments is when I think we see the resilient side of Scarlet that I actually like. The one that bucks tradition. I don't like the whiny, whoa is me Scarlett of most of the chapters.

One other question - where is Tara assumed to be? I know it's a fictional plantation, but not knowing Georgian geography well, I wonder where exactly it's assumed to be.

message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky I just cant imagine being that suffocated by tradition, that absolutely stifled in life by the idea that someone I had been married to for one month was dead, and now I might as well be too. I mean, even if she HAD loved him, going out, being involved in the cycle of life around you, it keeps you grounded during mourning. I cannot blame Scarlett, even if she had been in love, with suddenly awakening to the activity in Atlanta. I think she is lucky for the opportunity. Its always amazing how many social mores change during a time of war, and never really return again. I do have trouble sympathizing with her absolute disinterest in her own child.

I read a bit too far ahead (I got excited), so I'm trying to slow it down now, hehe.

I had the impression that Tara is by Stone Mountain, kind of out there in the hills.

message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) | 140 comments I'm totally with you Becky - the tradition that they're all expected to live by is just nuts. And it keeps coming up again and again. Rhett seems to really want to push Scarlett out of that. It also seems that oftentimes during war tradition is completely usurped, like Rosie the Riveter in WWII.

I am also really loving the descriptions of the dresses and the bonnets and what not, but oh man can I just absolutely not imagine wearing a dress with all that boning and all that material in the South. It's no wonder all the women were always fainting!

message 5: by Kara (new)

Kara Eep! Okay, actually just finished this section. I kind of adore Rhett. He's exactly the type I would fall in love with (though I'd never admit it) -- don't we all love a bad boy?

Perhaps food for thought: is Scarlett's whiney-ness a reaction to the suffocating morals imposed on her? She's clearly supposed to be smart, even if she's not "book smart" or interested in talking about anything that isn't boys. (She is 16, after all...) I feel like when Rhett is explaining to her about how they won't win the war, her brain kind of creaks, trying to figure out what he's saying. (And if she had been better educated, she would have had more to say.)

message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) | 140 comments Really interesting point Kara. I hadn't thought about it that way, but I think you're right. Something certainly clicks for her when she and Rhett are talking about war strategy and it's true that given the time and place, she wasn't educated in the least. I keep forgetting that her 'education' would have consisted of rules for landing a man and clearly she learned those well.

I wonder about Melanie in that regard as well. When she and Scarlett talk about Ashley's letters regarding how he's doing his duty but doesn't agree with the aims of the war, it occurs to me that Melanie might be smarter that she seems as well. But she also seems to be a bit of a shell of a character, especially compared to Scarlett who is so well drawn.

message 7: by Kara (new)

Kara Jen wrote: " occurs to me that Melanie might be smarter that she seems as well."

I definitely think Melanie is smart. It's part of the reason why Gerald thinks that Melanie is better for Ashley than Scarlett -- they both like that crazy book learnin'. And I think at the picnic, Scarlett interrupted Ashley and Melanie talking about -- Dickens? Did I make that up? Something.

For as much as Mitchell may not have liked Scarlett, the story certainly seems to bias towards how Scarlett felt towards things, I think.

message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy (bibliocrates) I loved all the descriptions of Atlanta and the dresses and just everything. Scarlett is suffocating. I know I shouldn't like her, but I can't help it. She is definitely not like the other women of that time and place, and is definitely too selfish to be a mother. I love that Rhett came and rescued her and called her out on her false display of social graces. I am also enjoying the historic feel of the story. Tara is in north Georgia, that's the only information we are given.

message 9: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments I think we get a chance to like Scarlett a lot more in this section. Yes, she's whiney and obnoxious, especially considering she got her own foolish self into this mess, but truly, by the time she's out of "mourning" she still won't even be 20! What a horrid thing to tie a young girl down to! I shudder to think how she would have acted if Charles were still living, but in the circumstances, it's awful the way she's supposed to still be mourning a husband she barely knew and was scarcely married to. I can't blame her in the slightest for bursting at the seams, wanting to just dance!

I can't tell if Rhett is more of a Han Solo-esque scoundrel, where he just likes the rumors spread about him, but isn't as bad as all that, or if he merely wants to push the social boundaries... or if he's a much darker figure than Scarlett can even fathom at this point. I don't remember a lot about his overall character from my read years ago, so it's interesting seeing him as if for the first time.

message 10: by Luella (last edited Jun 11, 2017 02:46PM) (new)

Luella I do like Scarlett a little more in this section. I get her feelings toward the kid though. She's a teen. In that regard she's a lot like that Janelle chick from teen mom. Shunning responsibilities and continuing to go after bad boys even if it goes against everything her mom taught her.

I liked how Brett rescued her too. I'm excited to see what comes of that.

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