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Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

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pat
Avid Reader
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Postby pat » Tue August 26th, 2008, 12:36 am

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

We have all heard of or seen the classic film with Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Clarke Gable as Rhett Butler, but have we read the novel? We should!

Set in Georgia, USA it tells of the American Civil War and its impact on the citizens of Atlanta and surrounding area.

We read how Gerald O'Hara, Scarletts father, obtains his plantation home in a game of poker, how he decides the home needs a mistress and he gets a wife in the form of Ellen. He builds Tara up making it one of the finest and most respected plantations and homes in the area.

Scarlett, the eldest child was like her father; hot headed, knew what she wanted and got it! She loved Ashley Wilkes from Twelve Oaks, the neighboring plantation, but she was loved by all the beaus in the area! He world crumbled, however, when she found the truth that Ashley was to marry Melanie Hamilton, an marrage that had been arranged for years. In a fit of pique, Scarlett agrees to marry Charles Hamilton, Melanies brother. At the same time, the war was announced, and all the young men rushed off to fight the Yankees. Two months into the war Charles dies, not a heroic death in combat, but of measles. Scarlett in plunged into black as a grieving widow, carrying his son.

Upon the birth of Wade, Scarlett is in depression. Ellen sends her to Atlanta with Wade, to Melanie and Aunt Pittypat, Charles and Melanies elderly maiden aunt. Here, Scarlett casues scandal. Her help in the hospital and other duties were deemed good, but her friendship with Rhett Butler was frowned upon. She had first met Rhett at Twelve Oaks, as the war was declared, there she thought him rude and arrogant. She also came out of mourning too early by the accounts of the busy bodies!

Rhett made his living by running the blockades, not fighting. The townsfolk of Atlanta thought he should be a part of the war, not profiteering from it. However, they did not turn away his bolts of cloth he managed to get through, or other fineries!

As the novel developes, we read about Scarletts torment living with Mellie, her anguish when Ashley comes home and returns to the front. We read how Scarlett delivers Mellies baby, Beau, with the laughable aid of Prissy, her maid. The heroic drive from Atlanta as it falls, back to Tara with Mellie in the back of the wagon having just given birth.

Scarlett finds Tara still standing, only just. Her mother had died, her sisters still very ill, and her father loosing his mind. Her faithful servant Mammy, and Geralds manservant Pork managing to only just hold onto things. Scarlett turns the house around from a crumbling decaying wreck, to a place of hope. The war is delared over, and subsequently Ashley makes his way home.

Scarlett married again for money, returning to Atlanta. Here she ran a buisiness, this was also frowned upon! She had vowed never to be poor again, and Scarlett was doing her best not to be. She sent money back to Tara to help the running of the house, but no one seemed to mind this! All through her times in Atlanta, she kept running into Rhett. When she fell pregnant by her husband Frank, she secured Ashley to work in her business, but continued to be seen about untill her obvious pregnancy was too obvious!

Frank Kennedy was killed because of Scarletts independence. She had gone to see one of the mills, and was attacked. To her aid came a former Tara worker, Big Sam. He returned her to Frank, and, although it was not mentioned there in the book, the Klan sought revenge. Rhett found out it was an ambush. The Yankees were lying in wait for them, and managed to save Ashley, but not Frank. Once again Scarlett was in mourning.

Rhett and Scarlett now come together! At last! They are married against wishes, as Scarlett should still be grieving. From this, Scarlett has another child, Bonnie. The apple of her fathers eye, she can do no wrong! Until....

....if you have not seen the film, you will need to read the book!

It is a shame this is the only novel by Margaret Mitchell, as it is fantastic! I am not a lover of the American Civil War, but the story of Scarletts gutsy approach to life and her determination to never be poor again is so well written.

Does Rhett say the famous line: Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn ?You will have to read it to be sure! As Scarlett says: Tomorrow is another day!

For more infomation:

http://www.gwtw.org/gonewiththewind.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind

A good read! Please try it if you have not!
A good book and a good coffee, what more can anyone want? xx

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Leyland
Bibliophile
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby Leyland » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 4:40 pm

I'm glad I read it again earlier this year. Scarlett and Melanie were a lot closer emotionally than I realized in the sense that Scarlett had more true respect for Melanie's strength and perspective, and relied upon it when needed, than what is portrayed in the movie. I've seen the movie several times of course, but now have read the book only twice.

The true foundation of GWTW to me this time around is this relationship, not just Scarlett's struggle to survive the destruction of her economic resources any way she can. I read it more for the romance the first time - the irresistable lure of the rapscallion versus the longing for the unattainable knight in shining armor. Scarlett's life would have been dramatically different had she not married Charles Hamilton and gained Melanie as a true friend.

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall & The Corset by Laura Purcell (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 5:17 pm

One of my most favourite books ever! :D
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 5:26 pm

I read this in my teens oh so many years ago and read it again a couple of years ago. I love those books that stand the test of time. The movie was good, but there's so much more in the book.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

My favorite book ever

Postby Michy » Thu May 20th, 2010, 7:45 pm

I have to weigh in here and say that GWTW is my all-time favorite book. I know, I am soooo unoriginal, but what can I say? :o No other book has so thorougly captured my imagination like this one.

I first read GWTW at age 16, have re-read it a couple of times since then, and will doubtless read it again one of these days. For me, what makes it so magic is not the plot but the people; I have yet to find any other author who can create characters like Margaret Mitchell could. She somehow managed to fill them with such subtleties and complexities that they live on in our imaginations like real people.

I just wish someone would make an audio version of this book on CD. I would LOVE to have an audio version of GWTW, but don't want it on tape (can't imagine how many cassettes that would be.... 70? 100?)

I have never seen the movie -- I don't watch movies -- so I naturally can't draw any comparisons. But I don't see how it could possible compare to the book. How could a movie climb into Rhett's and Scarlett's heads the way the book does? And does the movie go into the backstory of Scarlett's parents and how they got together, how her dad acquired Tara, etc.? Although I do have the music score on CD -- makes nice background music occasionally. :)

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu May 20th, 2010, 8:09 pm

I don't know if it is available on CD yet, Michy, but there is an audio version, and the reader does all the grades of southern accents extremely well. I heard it back in the 90's when audiocassettes were the hot new thing. Although it is only about 50 cassettes, not nearly as long as the Far Pavilions, which I found surprising, since both books have equivalent page lengths and neither audiobook was abridged.

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall & The Corset by Laura Purcell (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Thu May 20th, 2010, 8:38 pm

I loved both the film and the book. The film is a condensed version of the book - if I remember rightly it misses out a couple of Scarlett's husbands! For its day, it's quite an epic - the film, that is.

It looks like the audio version can be downloaded onto an ipod or MP3 player via a site like Audible.
Last edited by Vanessa on Thu May 20th, 2010, 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Postby LoveHistory » Thu May 20th, 2010, 11:17 pm

I've read the book. They did have to cut a lot out for the film but the husbands are there, it's the children who are missing.

Great book. Really good movie. It's one of my favorites for recasting.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu May 20th, 2010, 11:22 pm

"LoveHistory" wrote:I've read the book. They did have to cut a lot out for the film but the husbands are there, it's the children who are missing.

Great book. Really good movie. It's one of my favorites for recasting.


I believe you're right, she lost a few kids in the movie. I enjoyed the movie, but it's no where near what you get in the book. It's one of those books you need to read in your teens and then years later when you are really grown up.

That said, I adored Vivian Leigh's one scene in the movie the day after Rhett got drunk and carried her up the stairs. Everything was pretty much left to the imagination - but what she was able to convey about the night past with her facial expressions was priceless. I'm thinking she enjoyed it, a lot ;)
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall & The Corset by Laura Purcell (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Fri May 21st, 2010, 8:36 am

I knew they missed out something!! :o :D LOL.

Well, Clark Gable was a bit of a dish in his day, so I'm not surprised she had a smile on her face! My dad was said to look like him, bless him!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind


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