Banned Books Club discussion

Gone with the Wind-General

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message 1: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi!
I am on chapter 9, almost toward the end of part 2. Wow! So many thoughts have sprung up just from the first quarter of the book!

How the women were treated just as unequal as Asian women of the same era (being Asian I have heard too many remarks about Asian women being oppressed throughout history); how the book isn't only racist toward blacks but Irish as well; how human nature will always segregate using any excuses to make themselves appear better, let it be social status, skin color, interests, and even accents!

Is it mean to think Scarlet is very superficial? Or excuse her for being so young?

message 2: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Where is everyone else at?

message 3: by Satia (last edited Mar 26, 2011 09:32AM) (new)

Satia I picked up the book last night before going to bed and finished through chapter 3. Lots of flags already.

(view spoiler)

message 4: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments True, it was more of the lack of family name and old money that Gerald was not considered a Southerner till much later. I really like the character Gerald, he's certainly my favorite male at this point. I like his earthiness and his background-how he is not part of the old money gang.

I think it was the word "shrewd" that's constantly applied to him that led me to feel he was also discriminated upon.

You're right about Ashley. I couldn't figure out why Scarlet's so obsessed with him (no, she did not love him), but of course! It's the fact that he was unattainable! And that presented a challenge for her!

It's funny you mentioned the role of woman and how she represents the slaves. I will just say briefly that the third paragraph at the beginning of chapter 6 had me staring wide eye in disbelief! Mitchell had managed to cram in "hoecakes", "chitterlings", "that dish of hog entrails so dear to negro hearts", and "watermelon" in one sentence! Lol!! Few chapter before that, she had used "unerring African instinct" in the tale of Gerald. I was alarmed but just thought it strange...

Oh, I think Gerald got Tara in a card game in a saloon in Savannah...

message 5: by Satia (new)

Satia Serena, I wanted to know more about the parallels you see with how women were expected to behave and/or comport themselves in the Civil War era and how Chinese women are expected to behave.

Also, I think it's interesting that you say Scarlett is superficial and you like Gerald's character so much. Given that Scarlett is young, I'm thinking that much of what turned you off to her character initially is her youthfulness but since she's described repeatedly as being more like her father than anyone else, I started thinking about the superficial qualities you perceived and, the more I thought, the more I realized that Gerald too buys into the whole thing. He wants a slave and then the land and then more slaves to build the house. He works his way into society without realizing that although he is eventually welcome, he wasn't initially accepted. And he only chooses to marry when he sees that all of his neighbors have the kind of home he wants so he goes after a woman (really a girl) he wants and comes home with a bride and more slaves.

I could say much more but it is a curious thing that that which we like and find charming in Gerald is potentially off-putting when it is also in Scarlett. If the qualities are enchanting in a man, why are they offensive in a woman?

I'm going to be sitting with that one for a while. A long while.

In the meantime, I could blabber on some more but I'm going to back away a bit. I have a cup of coffee calling to me and some other books begging to be explored. I'll definitely come back later because there are some other thoughts about Gerald I'm itching to type out.

message 6: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi Satia!
I think what is missing in Scarlet and is present in Gerald is his good-heartedness and his always trying to help fellow human beings behind people's back. Scarlet does not have that, and that mainly was what I meant about his earthiness. He did not acquire it, I do not think, but was born with it, I believe. She's certainly just as head-strong as Gerald in the goals that they set for themselves (And I find that neither attractive nor ugly. It's just a trait of dedication). But she lacks the generosity and fellow-love that Gerald has; it also exists in Melanie. Of course, his ideas about the South and such prevent him from extending the same onto all people, for example, the Yankees.

Hm... The parallels I see with how women were treated in the Civil war era and the Chinese women of the same time. I will try to make this as coherent as I can. :)

• Corset-footbinding: we all know the horror of footbinding in Qing dynasty. But I did not know the horror of corsets until I read how the ladies had to carry around smelling salt in case they get a little excited and suffocate from lack of air intake! I am sure it's not good for the digestive system as well.

• Mannerism: same as the Southern belles, the Chinese ladies were not supposed to counter anything the men said. "Smile, nod and agree" was the preferred way of behavior. Girls were not allowed to chase after boys.

• Upbringing: girls were brought up in "training" to "catch" a husband. Although in Chinese society, the unmarried girls were kept much more hidden than the Southern belles. Also in the "training", they were required to learn literature, music, painting, poetry... Because no reputable men/family wanted ignorant and illiterate ladies for wives.

• Reputation: this I consider the most twisted horror. Women turned on each other brought on by the rules set by men!! This is a global-wide thing, every society place a much harder chain on the female sex all because men saw women as things they own, and they want the things they own to be pure and angelic.

• Widowhood: the practices right after the death of the husband were similar. No bright dresses, avoid all public events. Chinese widows at certain dynasty were not even allowed in the same room as brother-in-laws.
But the difference in widowhood was, Chinese widows were allowed to remarried throughout most of the history.

That's all I can think of for now. Lol!

What are the thoughts you have about Gerald?

message 7: by Satia (last edited Mar 26, 2011 09:35AM) (new)

Satia I read an essay long ago about the physical complications and even internal damage caused by corset wearing be hazardous but apparently there was a period in which spurious documents, letters from so-called medical professionals, etc. were circulating throwing sweeping accusations of cause and effect and heaping them upon corsets as the sole cause.

What is interesting is, if you go online, you can find a lot of websites that recommend wearing a corset with lists of the benefits. Of course, it is rather like noticing the "fine print" in advertisement or being aware of what political group created a particular commercial for most of the websites supporting and encouraging the wearing of corsets are websites that sell corsets and waist cinchers, etc.

I often think how lucky I was to grow up where I did, when I did, surrounded by feminism and such. On the other hand, I still balk against convention and I agree that there is such a double standard where women's reputations are concerned and every society is guilty of holding women apart in some way. While certain societies certainly seem more extreme than we are here in the US, I think it would surprise American women to learn that plastic surgery for enhancement or other surgical body modifications are considered as barbaric as we seem to think body scarification and even foot binding which is no longer practiced.

(view spoiler)

After finishing part one I found myself pausing and wondering not only why this book won the Pulitzer Prize but wondering whether or not it should ever be encouraged reading in the classroom. Although I doubt any teacher would have the temerity to suggest this book should be read in the class, I have seen it and continue seeing it on “summer reading” lists, typically under “historical novels” or “historical romance.” Of course, I live in Georgia so I can see where perhaps the lists I have seen on display in the local bookstores and which my children brought home may be slightly biased in favor of this novel while it would never appear on a recommended reading list in other summer reading lists.

I guess it’s acceptable if it isn’t “required reading” but I have to admit that I would probably not want my children to read this when they were in high school because there are certainly some distastefully subtle things said and portrayed. Then again, knowing me, if my child were reading the book by choice, I’d take it as an invitation to discuss these issues to such an extent that they would pack their bags and threaten to run away from home. LOL!

And let’s see . . . how much did I write on only Part One? Too much! Sheesh! Maybe I’ll have less to say about Part Two.

message 8: by Satia (new)

Satia In Regarding the Pain of Others Susan Sontag wrote the following about an exhibition of war photos. I thought it would be interesting to share this in relation to what we're reading:

When, in October 1862, a month after the battle of Antietam, photographs take by Gardner and O’Sullivan were exhibited at Brady’s Manhattan gallery, The New York Times commented:

The living that throng Broadway care little perhaps for the Death at Antietam but we fancy they would jostle less carelessly down the great thoroughfare, saunter less at their ease, were a few dripping bodies, fresh from the field, laid along the pavement. There would be a gathering up of skirts and a careful picking of way . . . (62)

message 9: by Satia (new)

Satia I found a reader's guide for Gone With the Wind so I thought I'd share the link in case anyone else wants to look at the questions and discuss them. I haven't read them myself. I obviously have enough fun researching my own questions as I'm reading and rarely consider that there are things like book club questions or reader's guides out in the real world.

message 10: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Yes! My doctor has these old prints in his office that were cigarette ads with images of doctors telling people the awesome benefit of cigarettes!

Interesting point you raised about how Mitchell showed Gerald's compassion. I remember reading that and felt uncomfortable at the 3 categories she presented. But I thought, perhaps what she meant to illustrate was that Gerald felt the need to protect the weak ones, such as children, small animals, and black people (it's very obvious Mitchell herself had huge problem connecting to/and understanding African Americans in any way. She didn't see them as a human race, or a human race she could ever understand). The nature of the status "slaves" also include weakness, for if you are weaker, you are supposedly easily enslaved. I assume Mitchell did not include 'women' in the categories because she's writing a feminist novel and logically could not place women under such light.

What I am saying is, I think Gerald's compassion and tenderness is an extension of Mitchell's own ideal of compassion and tenderness. And Mitchell being a racist, she had no problem saying these things out loud, which we find horrifying and I am sure, some people of her time as well.

I have heard about the "house slaves" vs. "field slaves" attitude before, also about the mulatto children. Although my boyfriend had put it much more crassly: "there are no African American now a days without white blood in them. They were slaves and the white men surely acted so, they OWNED these women."

I can see why this book had won the Pulitzer Prize. It is filled with history of that era, detailed culture, mentality...everything! I am learning a lot myself, and I can see how young adults can benefit from it. But I do agree with you on letting younger readers touch the book without guidance.

You know what just happened to me? I got on the subway the other day going to the Chinese consulate. I entered the train and sat down next to this older black lady with a nice hat on. As soon as I sat down I open the book and started reading it, she asked me: "Do you have to read that book for school?" My first reaction was: "crap. I am in trouble..." LOL!! I answered: "No, it's for a book club, a banned book club." She nodded, then proceeded to tell me how when she was a little girl, her parents had taken her to see the movie. And how her mother, her sister and her were simply crazy about Clark Gable. She went on and on about how handsome he was for awhile. Then she told me about a documentary about Margaret Mitchell, and how she was killed in a car accident and how I should read more African American writers... I really wanted to ask her whether she thought Mitchell was a racist, but the words never came out.

People have also been telling me about "The Wind Done Gone".

message 11: by Satia (new)

Satia The Wind Done Gone was given terrible reviews otherwise I might have read it. I am once again biting my tongue about something that is coming in the novel . . . and how it relates to Mitchell's own life and . . . ouch! Biting my tongue hurts!

I don't know that there aren't other and better books that have since been published which I think young adults could read and from which they would benefit more than they would from reading this book. I simply can't wrap my mind around justifying exposing such racist rhetoric in a classroom. But then, racism is still very much a hot button issue down here where KKK members still gather in public places and I often see the Confederate flag hanging outside of houses.

message 12: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Lol!! Well, the nice black lady on the train also told me how each character in the book was based on someone Mitchell had known in real life, specifically Rhett Butler... Is that what you are referring to?

I know.., it was premature for me to start making comments since I am only 1/4 way in the book. But this is a very thought-provoking book, also very long, so if I do not post the comments while they are fresh, I fear I might lose the frame of mind and emotions stirred from reading certain parts. Which was what you were saying before about keeping this discussion open. Curses!

I will refrain from commenting, hopefully, until I am half way through the book. I do secretly suspect that Mitchell might soon give me the twist on events/people I find certain right now.

Yea. I do agree with you on whether exposing such racist rhetoric in a classroom is a good idea. It will take a very sensitive and caring teacher to guide the students right, and also will depend on the maturity of each student. Hmm... I supposed I do see now why this book was banned, like you've said, this is not a done issue.

message 13: by Satia (new)

Satia Serena, What I thought I would do is just post comments after we, meaning the group, finished each part. So after I read part one I posted my thoughts. I think at that point you said you were on chapter 9 which is in part two so I knew I wasn't rushing things.

Now, knowing that you are not yet finished with part two, I've set the book aside. I've actually read through part three (mostly because my back pain kept me supine and reading was irresistible).

I'll probably have to return the book to the library, however, before we finish talking about the book. And at that point I'll have to decide if I'm just going to go ahead and read through to the end or renew it.

And I'd definitely keep sharing your thoughts. I know you're not the only one in the group who is reading it for the first time. I just have a hard time responding fully or to specific observations while trying not to give away any details. So when you say things about Scarlett in comparison with Gerald and/or Melanie, etc., I am hard put not to say something that would give too much of the rest of the novel's content away. It's just easier to say nothing and eagerly wait for you to finish the book so we can both talk about everything without holding back.

message 14: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi Satia, I started Part 3 this morning, but since I am going to China next week, I am hoping I will return home with Part 3 done and into Part 4 already... :)

message 15: by Satia (new)

Satia I'll hold off on anything until your return but I'll type up my notes in the meantime. I was able to be sit up more today so my back is improving but I am still trying to be careful and not try to do too much only to end up on the floor again.

message 16: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments I'd have called Margaret Mitchell a genius if she wasn't such a racist. It blows my mind that a woman with such sensitive insight into human nature can hold such base bigotry! And tried to justify it with the most twisted logics I've ever read! How she claimed the Yankees were even more racists than the Southerners because the Southerners "understand" black people, they know that "negroes had to be handled gently like children, that is, to be commanded, praised, patted, and scolded."

And what's wrong with Mammy?? Her crazy hate for "free-issued niggers"? Stockholm syndrome?

message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie S. Now that I'm far enough in the book to actually contribute something, I want to join the discussion.

I am constantly struck by how smoothly Mitchell does her descriptions and set-ups. She is very subtle with them yet I feel completely immersed in the book. The only thing that jars me out of the flowing words is the awkward references to black people. I guess that it was a different time, but it just feels so strange seeing that in writing.

message 18: by Satia (new)

Satia I was listening to a discussion on 60 Minutes Sunday about the changes made to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and how that one publisher replaced the N-word with "slave." I found it to be a very interesting discussion that included a pair of high school English teachers, one who used the word in the discussion of the text and the other who did not.

I found the transcript/video here. (I just love the internet sometimes because I can watch something one day and then share it a few days later here. How cool is that?)

I remember sitting and watching this and thinking, "If one person can argue that the word is used for effect by Twain, is Mitchell's use of the word an effect or just a 'product of her times' ignorance? And if it is the latter, is it excusable?"

Serena, in answer to the Mammy issue . . . I remember when Spike Lee came out with the film School Daze and there was a huge backlash within the African American community for certain things that he put out there on the screen--in particular the song about hair.

This issue is deeply rooted in the house slave/field slave experience. For Mammy, I don't think she ever sees herself as a slave so much as she does a member of the family. She was given to Ellen's mother, no doubt as a personal slave rather than a "mammy" but with Ellen comes a new role and a new name. Surely they didn't call a newborn baby "Mammy" and this nickname/title is familiar in nature. In many ways she mothers the girls, especially Scarlett, much the way Ellen herself does. She takes great pride in the work she does and so, when she cautions Scarlett to behave like a lady, muttering when things "ain't fittin'" it's as much to protect Scarlett's reputation as it is her own and the O'Hara's family. I doubt Mammy thinks of herself as a slave because she is clearly a member of the family in name and position.

Sort of. Of course, to the objective observer, she is far removed from being actual family.

One of the things I found interesting is that the Wilkes family is clearly less comfortable with the idea of slavery. Doesn't Ashley or Melanie come right out and admit that they fully intended on freeing the slaves regardless of the outcome of the Civil War? I forget.

But notice . . . The slaves on the Tara plantation are Pork, Mammy, Big Sam. Except for that third, the names are less than human. And you have the Twelve Oaks slaves: Dilcey and Prissy. I can imagine that Prissy's name is a diminutive of Priscilla and I would guess Dilcey's too is either a full name or a modification of a name. But these are names, not "labels" as I would argue "pork" and "mammy" are. Even Aunt Pittypat calls her slave Uncle Peter, a name with a familial intimacy implied.

I guess if I had the time I could look more deeply into this, exploring the various names of the slaves throughout the text and their relationships to their owners, etc. No doubt there's an article out there in the world, in a book or even online, that addresses the slave names in Gone With the Wind.

But no, I don't think it's Stockholm Syndrome. Freed slaves (aka "free-issued") often looked down in judgment upon those slaves who still embraced their slave roles. That Mammy continues to serve as a slave (because we all know that, aside from those red silk petticoats, she wasn't getting much more than she did before the Civil War in way of payment for her services rendered) even after the Emancipation Proclamation is a matter of pride to her. It's as much her way of saying she is not a slave as it is her saying she is a member of the family. And don't we all, when we know others are judging us, tend to be judgmental as well. A sort of preemptive attack or, as the saying goes, attack or be attacked. She is on the defensive towards the freed slaves perhaps because she is not as comfortable with her choice as she would like to pretend she is (and what family does she have other than the O'Hara family and Scarlett in particular?) and because she knows that they are judging her for her choice, judging her as not being proud or not proud enough.

If she had real pride she would leave. Sure. But then where would she go?

message 19: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi Julie! Yes, I was shocked at first 50 pages or so whenever I encountered the word "darky" or the "n" word. After 500 pages, I realized those 2 words were nothing compared to Mitchell's ideas and what she thought black people were. I was constantly horrified. But yea, like you've said, different time...

Which, to answer Satia's question, is it excusable on Mitchell's part to use the 'n' word in comparison to Twain's Huckleberry Finn? My opinion is yes, it's excusable. It was curious to read that it already was the case back then that black people were allowed to use the "n" word while white people weren't. I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the "n" word was only used in conversations between black people in the book. Of course, ultimately the book was written by a white woman, but the word wasn't used as an attack, therefore I think it's ok.

Very interesting, Satia! You are right about Mammy, and why she thought the way she did. She had to identify with the family who kept her as slave and adapted to their thinking, to justify the existence of her being. Yes, it all makes sense now...

I did notice besides Dilcey and Prissy, there was no mentioning of other slaves at 12 Oaks. And it was ambiguous where the Wilkes (and Melanie) stood on the issue of slaves. I don't think (or remember) Ashley or Melanie had admitted to wanting to free their slaves regardless of the outcome of the war. Now come to think of it, I can't remember any incident or scene that described either character ordering a slave about.

message 20: by Satia (new)

Satia A quick google shows that in chapter 57 he does say he had intended on freeing the slaves after his father's death but whether Ashley would have followed through or not is obviously debatable. It's a moot point, since he was never forced to face that choice. I didn't read that far before I returned the book but that is something I distinctly recall his saying. Not sure if that's in the movie although it seems it might be . . .

message 21: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Ahhh... I see. My memory is worse than I thought! :)

The Wilkes were a interesting family. Ashley lamented the loss of the good old days, and he went off and fought for the South. Yet his ideas and upbringing were so different from those of his Southern neighbors and friends. They were those of the Yankees whom he fought against. They were seen by their Southern friends as queer and almost incestuous, and yet they were a big part of the community...

I started watching the movie last week, I finished disc 1, which ended after Charles's death. I noticed there was no mentioning of little Wade Hamilton. I will continue with disc 2 to see whether he'd appear somehow... The movie certainly lost lots of sensitivity and finesse of the book; although Clark Gable as Rhett Butler was the most perfect casting I've ever seen!

message 22: by Satia (new)

Satia Isn't he though? Clark Gable truly personifies Rhett so perfectly. There was a huge search for Scarlett and some dvd sets include the many screen tests for the plethora of actresses who wanted the role.

Interesting side note but the casting of Gone With the Wind actually influenced the casting of The Wizard of Oz. MGM wanted Gable for GWTW and Shirley Temple for TWOO but Temple fell through or was obligated elsewhere and Judy Garland was pushed into the role that would make her a star.

I know all sorts of utterly useless stuff.

message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie S. Serena,

I think you're right about the blacks being the only ones that used the n word. I'm still early in the book (I got so distracted by other books *blush with some embarassment*), but so far I think that Jeems was the only one to use it. He was complaining about another family's slaves because he saw them as poorer and lower than he was.

message 24: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Lol! Satia, it all depends on how one defines "useful".

I thought it was interesting the first sentence of the book was "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful." And yet Vivien Leigh was considered one of the most beautiful actresses of her day. It was difficult for me not to have Leigh and Gable on my mind as Scarlett and Rhett throughout the whole book. I do sort of wish I could imagine them on my own as I did with Melanie and Ashley. Oh well.

I was a bit confused the first time I saw Judy Garland as Dorothy: "what a GIANT child she is!" Lol!!

Julie, thanks for reminding me of Jeems. I've forgotten about him being the Tarlington's slave. Which also supports Satia's observation of only the Tara slaves were named "inhumanly". And sorry if we have not tagged our discussion with a "spoiler" note! Apologies!

message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie S. I'm not upset because to be perfectly honest, I only skimmed the comments that looked like they would have spoilers in them. I intend on actually reading fully when I'm a bit further in the book.

I'm starting to see why this is a controversial book...

message 26: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi Julie, good good. I still can't find the function to flag a discussion with "spoiler alert". Perhaps Satia knows?

We do want to keep the discussion of this book ongoing, since it's such a big book and it contains many controversial points for discussion. :) So when you do get deeper into the book, please don't hesitate to join in the discussion!

message 27: by Satia (new)

Satia As far as I know, the only way to "spoiler alert" something is in a review where there is an option to check the box "this review contains spoilers" or something to that effect.

The other way, and it is perhaps too late to do this but we could do this going forward, would be to create a new folder and, within that folder, the discussions could be better broken down. For instance, with this novel we could have created separate threads within the folder for each part (1-5) of the book and then one thread for each of the main characters. This way, someone who hasn't read past part one wouldn't have to worry about accidentally reading a spoiler if they only read the "part one" thread.

Perhaps we can begin doing this going forward. What are we reading in April?

message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie S. (view spoiler)

message 29: by Satia (last edited Mar 26, 2011 09:37AM) (new)

Satia Julie is brilliant.


I'm going to edit my comments with spoilers now.

Okay. I tucked a few of my comments behind a spoiler and will go to the other threads and do the same. Thanks, again, Julie.

message 30: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Thanks to Julie. D'uh to me. :)

Satia, I think that's a good idea, breaking the discussion down and organize them in a more coherent way. I am pretty bad at organizing anything, my boyfriend's always screaming at me about my messy desktop; and my work inbox has over 300 email that I really need to go through and chuck. Lol!

Anyhow, why don't we do this for the next book then?

message 31: by Julie (new)

Julie S. It would make sense to break it up if our next book is also long.

message 32: by Satia (new)

Satia Unfortunately, it looks like only those who have been made moderators of the group can actually create new folders, which would have made organizing things a lot easier. If anyone is in contact with Will, perhaps we can get him to step in and help us out. In the meantime, we'll just have to create new discussions within the same folder. :(

message 33: by Julie (new)

Julie S. So I really dragged my feet on Gone With the Wind, but I finally finished it. Just a few months too late, huh? :)

This book was not difficult to read. For all the racism and outdated ways of thinking, the characters felt very modern. While it was not hard to read, I'm finding it difficult to digest. It was one of those books that when I closed the back cover, I just stared at it for a minute, trying to make my brain catch up.

I have no idea how I will end up rating this on GoodReads. I think that I will have to revive some of the discussions and let the book simmer in my mind for a while. I really appreciate this book club and the chance to read what you all have commented on the book even if I am so behind.

message 34: by Satia (new)

Satia Julie, I can understand your dilemma. I had a problem figuring out how to rate it as well because I really could appreciate the quality of the writing as well as the very strong character development throughout. And when read just before reading Little Women it's hard not to see how modern this novel truly is. But I wrote my review and then debated how many stars before I made a decision. I don't know if it helps that you are not alone in struggling with your feelings regarding this novel. I am still appalled that I never saw these things before.

message 35: by Julie (new)

Julie S. A friend lent me Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, which looks like an unofficial sequel to Gone With the Wind. It looks kind of interesting, and I'm wondering if anyone here has read it.

message 36: by Satia (new)

Satia Julie,

It's actually an "official" sequel. Pat Conroy was originally contracted to write it but never finished it so Alexandra Ripley was then asked to do so. I believe she worked from some of Controy's ideas but went off on her own.

The book received dreadful reviews. A miniseries was made starring the actress from Willow and a pre-007 Timothy Dalton as Rhett Butler. I watched most of the first episode but I ended up turning it off before the first episode was over because I wasn't interested in seeing the rest.

I hope you like the book. Everything I've read about it makes it sound like more of a typical romance novel, even moreso than Gone With the Wind was itself which can be a good, or even a great, thing for some readers. (As I've said too many times, I'm sure, I don't really like romance novels so that may be why I turned off the television show with such ease.)

message 37: by Julie (new)

Julie S. Hmm. I'm surprised to hear that this is official. Something about it just seemed like it was, well, to put it nicely, professional fanfiction. Not that I am saying that all fanfiction is poorly written, I'm just saying that it did not seem to be part of the "Gone With the Wind canon."

I started it last night, and it seems ok so far. She does not seem hesitant to kill off major characters early, so I'm wondering what direction she will take with the rest of the novel.

message 38: by Satia (new)

Satia I love what you sayd about "professional fanfiction." I just read something where Wide Sargasso Sea is nothing more than a fanfiction. Or was it March?

Oh dear . . . I need to take more notes so I'll remember these things. I obviously never know when they are going to come up.

message 39: by Julie (new)

Julie S. I don't know about either of those. Through this group, I know that Wide Sargasso Sea is an unofficial prequel to Jane Eyre, so maybe that's the one.

message 40: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Jillian wrote: "Satia wrote: "I could say much more but it is a curious thing that that which we like and find charming in Gerald is potentially off-putting when it is also in Scarlett. If the qualities are enchan..."

Lol! Ok, let me try this take: This is how I'd paint both characters. Gerald, a short stocky male with lots of fire in him. Simple-minded, bull-headed, and will-driven. Within these simplistic traits, he is soft-hearted and compassionate. His love for Ellen demonstrates he loves because he loves, and full-heartedly. This is our archetype of simple manly men (I am refraining from using the phrase 'cave men', lol!).

Gerald's type does not think much, they don't think about whether it's wrong to be racist because that's just the way it is (and that's if they even are aware of what 'racists' are), they don't think about WHY they love or want to protect someone, and when they see something they want, they go and get it. And this is why we find Gerald charming, his intention of getting something/someone was never all that evil. He just wants it and go and get it. It's the combination of these simple manly men traits backed with a good heart that makes him charming.

Scarlett: a charming young female with the all sensitivities of the female mind, but devoid of all the nurturing qualities of female of the species. Her selfishness and her lack of empathy to those around her make her the archetype of the conniving scheming bitch. When Scarlett wants something, she goes and get it as well, but in the meantime wishes Melly dead, destroys her sister's hope, destroys Frank's reputation then got him killed.. She leaves a trail of destruction behind her.
Her similarity to Gerald's personality is only the trait of bull-headedness, and here is where she differs from Gerald and why she's off-putting, her intention behind her acts are mostly selfish and self-serving. Her gender really has nothing to do with it; but then again, her being a female, the gender more capable of being selfless love, does contrast her selfish bull-headedness lots.

Sorry, I can't simply take a trait out of characters and compare that trait alone without looking at the whole picture, because everything is connected.

message 41: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hmm... I am not sure whether I agree that Scarlett's negative behaviors stem from Ellen's upbringing and training. Ellen, like Marmee in Little Women, is an upstanding example of a strong perfect woman. Marmee more so than Ellen as she seems to have no blemish in her whole life. Ellen to Scarlett is the embodiment of the Virgin Mary, she wants to be a great lady like Ellen. But once her physical being is removed from Ellen-her marriage to Charles and move to Atlanta, she instantly gains the habit of "I will think about that tomorrow". She slowly begins to bury the conscience that Ellen tries to instill in her.

Her repeating nightmare of running in the fog seeking for something for me symbolizes her seeking of her soul, her conscience. It becomes reality when Melanie dies.

Rhett Butler. The male Scarlett really, would be a good comparison. Rhett has voiced numerous times that him and Scarlett are of the same creature, same mind, same immoralist. But even him, is amazed at Scarlett's ignorance on recognizing and appreciating basic human values such as honor, compassion, and unconditional love.

Hahahaha! I supposed I should stop dissing Scarlett. She just makes me so mad because she can be so much better, and I hate the fact that feminist movement's embodied in her because women are so much better than that! :) Especially when there're examples of other girls under the same environment and condition...

message 42: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Hi there, that's interesting you see Ellen as an antihero. Never thought about that...

I personally think this book is impressive, certainly exceeds my expectation of it prior reading it. Like I've said before, I'd have considered Margaret Mitchell a genius if she wasn't such a bigot. :)

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