Book Review – Gone With The Wind
[box] Book Review – Gone With The Wind By Magaret Mitchell [/box]
“Gone with the Wind” is only novel written by the renowned novelist Magaret Mitchell and I feel so fortunate to have read the only creation of this great novelist. Mitchell has also won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel back in 1937. It is very interesting to note that Mitchell started writing this novel in 1926 just to pass the time as she was recovering from a major car accident and wow, what a literary classic it came out to be! In the year 1935 a publisher, Harold Latham liked the excerpts of the novel immensely and decided to publish it.
The backdrop of “Gone with the Wind” is American Civil War (1861–1865) and the Reconstruction Era (1865–1877) that followed the war. The story takes place in the state of Georgia in the ‘Tara’ cotton plantations amidst rebellion and dispute involving the African Slaves. The main lead of the novel is the “not so beautiful” sixteen year old daughter of a rich Irish family, Scarlett O’Hara who knew how to impress men. This is the story about her life and her relationship with men. Her struggle starts with Ashley Wilkes, one of the ex-boyfriends of Scarlett who seems to love her but decides to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton leaving Scarlett deeply hurt and disappointed. As he tells her ““Like must marry like or there’ll be no happiness.”
Rhett Butler is another man, a rogue, who overhears her conversation with Ashley and very sarcastically, comments on her “very admirable spirit” and meets her again in Atlanta. Charles Hamilton is the brother of Melanie, who is head over heels in love with Scarlett. To seek revenge from Ashley, Scarlett marries him but just then war begins and two months later Charles dies of measles, making Scarlett a widow at just sixteen years with a child Wade Hamilton. How Scarlett handles her status of a widow and transforms from an immature flirt to a smart business woman and how she successfully saves “Tara” amidst the chaos of the civil war and dispute involving manual labor on cotton plantations, is the crux of the story.
I liked the characterization of the story very much, especially Scarlett O’Hara. In the beginning, she is projected as a proud and ‘full of herself’ teenager. Slowly she mellows down but still uses her charm to get the men do what she desires and this way protects “Tara”. The story is full of themes, love stories to civil war to the miscreants ‘Yankees’ and there is the loyalty to family also. The author has also mentioned the issue of racism in the story. The Civil war portion of the story might be boring at times but, it is important to establish the theme. The novel is long but never is it dull. The love-hate relationship between Scarlett and Rhett Butler is very endearing and keeps it going. Some readers might grumble about the tragic end, it is sad indeed but as Mitchell says “For all I know, Rhett may have found someone else who was less difficult.” In the end, I was happy and fulfilled after reading “Gone with the Wind”, an absolutely amazing story.