Gone With the Wind Fans discussion

Book-of-the-Month > Thoughts on Completing GWTW

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message 1: by Laura (last edited Dec 30, 2010 03:54PM) (new)

Laura | 110 comments Mod
Well, I finished GWTW for the third time about a week and a half ago and can honestly say I enjoyed it the most with this reading. I simultaneously read Mitchell's letters with the novel, which provided a thorough and informative perspective on Mitchell's intentions as an author and to what extent she accomplished them. After re-reading GWTW, I do believe she meant to show the problems with a society that relies on enslaving people. By far, one of my favorite passages was near the end when Scarlett has sold the lumber mill to Ashley, and Ashley informs her he will use "free darkies" instead of convicts. Mitchell shows the ignorance most Southerners had at the time by having Ashley state he would never live on the enforced labor of others because societies that do so are never happy. Scarlett looks around the room and wants to say she is happy but she can't. What Mitchell shows here but never states explicitly is that NO ONE in the story is happy precisely because of their society's reliance on slavery. It's a brilliantly written passage and one that I felt was central to the novel's argument.

I really cried this time; previously I was only sad. And actually, when I read it as a teenager, I thought it was a little sad, but never quite "got it." This time, however, I had trouble talking after I finished it. The ending seemed much more hopeless after this reading than it ever has, in both previous readings and of course in comparison to the movie. I just felt so depressed finishing it, mostly because Scarlett finally develops a conscience but just too late.

This novel is a masterpiece, as I know everyone here believes, and deserves all of the praise given to it.

I also watched the movie the day after completing the novel. I've always enjoyed the movie (it's something my mother and I like to watch together), but after watching it this time I felt so annoyed with the screen writers. Although they leave out any reference to the Klan and don't use the n-word, the movie is emphatically about mourning the loss of slavery--a statement they make in the paragraph that scrolls across the screen at the beginning:

"There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind... "

This made me want to throw up more than usual since this romanticizing goes against the entire point of the novel. I also felt more irritated than usual about the exclusion of Scarlett's other children, Ella and Wade, as well. Their presence in the novel is essential because it shows how selfish Scarlett is, but also how much she matures by the end (but in some respects does not). The film is still exceptional even in spite of its flaws, and is very well cast. However, I wholeheartedly prefer the novel now.

Has anyone else re-read the novel recently? What were your thoughts?

Happy New Year!

message 2: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Brown (ellenfbrown) | 16 comments Aren't the letters wonderful? I find something new every time I pick them up.

message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura | 110 comments Mod
Oh, I love the letters! I read them for a few hours without stopping yesterday. They read like a novel!

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Ellen and Lara,
Where can I read the letters. I would love to read them during my next reading of Gone with the Wind.

message 5: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Brown (ellenfbrown) | 16 comments Hi Robin, Macmillan published a selection of Mitchell's letters relating to GWTW in the 1970s. I'm not sure it's still in print but I am bet you can find it online or through your library. It's aptly called "Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind Letters." It's almost like reading an autobiography.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks so much Ellen. I will sure try to find it!

message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura | 110 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Ellen and Lara,
Where can I read the letters. I would love to read them during my next reading of Gone with the Wind."

Hi, Robin! I found a collection of her letters at the library. I know that they are available through Amazon, too, if you would like to own a copy. As Ellen said, reading them is like reading an autobiography, or even a novel! She writes her letters the way she writes her fiction.

message 8: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (ezepeze11) Lara wrote: "Robin wrote: "Ellen and Lara,
Where can I read the letters. I would love to read them during my next reading of Gone with the Wind."

Hi, Robin! I found a collection of her letters at the library. ..."

do you know if you can get them online? because i am reading gwtw for the fifth time right now and i think that it would be so cool to read the letters when i am done..but i do not go to the library or order things online...help?

message 9: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Brown (ellenfbrown) | 16 comments I don't think they are available online because they are still under copyright and I don't think the estate has approved an online version.

message 10: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (ezepeze11) Oh okay thanks

message 11: by Laura (last edited Jan 04, 2011 07:38PM) (new)

Laura | 110 comments Mod
I found them at my university's library, so I have no idea if they are available at a public library.

I found another collection called Letters from Margaret on Books-a-Million's website:


You could probably go to Books-a-Million and order it from the store. This collection seems much shorter (it's 152 pages) and covers a smaller time period (1936-1947), but it's still probably a good read.

If you go to a bookstore, maybe just ask them if they have Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind Letters 19 36 to 19 49 2nd Edition in stock and if you can order it.

I hope this helps!

message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura | 110 comments Mod
Wait! I just looked at the Goodreads profile for Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind Letters 19 36 to 19 49 2nd Edition, and clicked on the "buy a copy" tab underneath the title. Barnes and Noble's DOES carry it, at least on their website. So, you could probably go to the store and request it. Here's the link:


I hope you can obtain a copy! They're a great read, especially alongside the novel. Good luck!

message 13: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (ezepeze11) Oh yay cOol thanks guys

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