When I started exploring my passion for books, I was only interested in reading ‘Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell’ to find out about the hype surrounding it.
A couple of years ago, Scarlett’s character didn’t bother me. Despite the fact that I was quick to judge her and label her as selfish, narcissistic, manipulating, opportunist and at times simply foolish. Still, she’s one of my favorite fictional characters because she’s also persistent, hardworking, survivor and courageous.
These days, it’s difficult to come across a character like her in novels. Most fictional female protagonists I have come across are ‘Nice,’ so nice that it’s difficult to believe in them or even remember them for a long time.
Anyways, truth is, if I had to read ‘Gone with the wind’ today, I’d have hated Scarlett. Probably, would’ve given away the book as soon as possible.
‘Gone With The Wind By Margaret Mitchell’ ~~ Synopsis:
‘Gone With The Wind’ is a story about a girl named Scarlett O’Hara, who loves to flirt, dance to her heart’s content and run after a neighborhood guy Ashley Wilkes.
As per the author, Scarlett isn’t ‘the prettiest of the girls’, but almost all the guys in the neighborhood want her attentions. She loves it, but her main agenda remains, to attract the attention of the one particular guy. But Ashley seems immune to Scarlett’s charms.Scarlett doesn’t believe in accepting defeat. She tries until she gets what she wants and most of the times, she wants things for the sake of having them. (Like a child!)
It’s not particularly an appealing quality, considering sometimes accepting defeat is a far better idea than destroying your life. She keeps running after a man, who doesn’t love, till Rhett leaves her.
Anyways, soon Scarlett finds out that the love of her life Ashley is engaged to nice-girl Melanie Hamilton. Before the declaration of the American Civil War, Scarlett attends a ball, in hopes to make Ashley aware her feelings for him.
She reasons with herself that Ashley has no idea about her love for him. At the ball, she meets Rhett Butler. He instantly falls for her and she takes a dislike to him as she fails to manipulate him like everyone else.
Scarlett also finds out that Ashley’s not going to break his engagement with Melanie. She’s angry and wants to teach Ashley a lesson. So she marries Charles Hamilton, Melanie’s brother.
Soon, Charles leaves to serve in the army and dies there. Charles death does nothing to move Scarlett but news of her first pregnancy depresses her. During that time she visits her aunt in Atlanta and her life begins to change. Since she’s a widow & in mourning, she’s not allowed to dance (or flirt).
She’s miserable, but only for a short while. Rhett shows up and adds some color in her life. Sadly, they don’t end up together soon enough.
Even when Scarlett & Rhett do get married, it’s apparent what’s going to follow. Scarlett has no idea how to give up on her teenage crush & the idea of having Ashley in her life till the end of the novel.
After the death of their daughter, Rhett decides to leave Scarlett. He’s tired of running after a woman, who doesn’t want him in her life.
I’m not going into the detail of what happened in-between. The to-be-continued style of ending is too upsetting and spoils my mood every time I read it.
Some (fun) lessons one can learn from Scarlett:
1. Don’t ever give up on your silly wants/desires. No matter how irrational they are. Not even when running after them destroys your life.
2. Be so persistent that almost everyone begins to hate you. But never recognize or acknowledge your mistakes.
3. So what if you failed today? You can always start trying tomorrow.
A strong, independent and determined female protagonist. Another character like that of Scarlett I can think of is: Kkrishnaa from ‘Smita Jain’s Kkrishnaa’sKonfession’s.’
What’s Not Sizzling:
Despite loving the story, I still wish it’s not such a huge book. At times it’s difficult to maintain interest or keep eyes open.
The first time, I had read the book I felt tired as I couldn’t understand the “slave language.” Certainly, didn’t like reading about people owning people either and making it all sound okay. Too infuriating! I get it that it’s a novel set in 18thcentury, but still….
There are so many secondary characters that in spite of reading the book, a couple of times, I still can’t remember their names.
It’s intriguing, engrossing and sometimes a shocking read. I love ‘Gone With The Wind’ because of the love story. And the new edition has a sexy looking cover art to attract readers!
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