Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind (novel) - Wikipedia

Gone with the Wind is a novel written by American writer Margaret Mitchell, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. Set in Atlanta and a nearby plantation, the novel depicts life in southern America before and after the Civil War. Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Melanie, and the rest of the southerners are at the center of the story. Their customs and manners, words and deeds, spiritual concepts, and political attitudes, through the entanglement of love between Scarlett and Rhett, successfully depicted the Civil War led by Lincoln and the social life in the southern area of the United States.

The Civil War destroyed the economy of Georgia and the whole South. Slaves were freed and the good old days of slave owners were gone. In order to survive, they had to put down their pride and struggle, or they would die, and even the elite of Alanta would have to condescend to selling cakes and driving wagons. Feminist literature began in the 19th century and flourished in the 20th century. The rapid development of feminism is closely related to the social environment and historical background at that time. As the ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity and natural human rights advocated by the French Revolution rapidly gained popularity throughout the world, a feminist movement began to fight for women’s equality in politics, economy, education and other aspects from the 1830s. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, published in 1936, was written under such circumstances.

In the past, the author used to create a single and prominent character, that is, the positive character is brilliant, without any shortcomings, while the negative character is usually full of dark, cunning, and comes with a callous nature. However, Gone with the Wind breaks this way of description. The characters presented in the novel are the combination of positive and negative dispositions. This combination of personalities not only manifests the characteristics of each character in a round and vivid way, but also reveals a personal change brought by social upheaval in a deeper level.

-Coreen C.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

The Price of Admission by Daniel Golden

The Price of Admission (Updated Edition): How America's Ruling ...

This book was recommended to me by my friend who accidentally found this book online while she was exploring her college options as a student who needs financial aid. I wasn’t exactly drawn to reading this book at first simply by looking at its title. The United States of American is a nation where equality, justice, and freedom prevail, I thought. But curiosity still prompted me to read the first few pages of this novel and I was truly surprised at how much the rich and wealthy alumnus parents manipulate college acceptance officers to help enroll their children in the Ivy League universities.

I didn’t feel bitter because of the rich kids who, with mediocre academic records and criminal offenses managed to get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. Well, life is unfair, and their parents just naturally are more powerful and connected to tycoons who with a phone call ensures the matriculation of a child into these universities. What I felt to be a decline in democracy, meritocracy, and most importantly, the prominence of the American education system—one which the U.S. proclaims to be of the top in terms of its position in the world—is the fact that scholarly institutions are no longer willing to discover talent and support intellectual efforts from the rough and lower socioeconomic tiers.

Wealthy legacy and children of generous donors occupy spots that they don’t deserve. Perhaps they don’t even think how many nights did students from working and middle class spent studying instead of partying like them. Is the advancement of education really still the major goal and core of private institutions, or in maintaining their status in the academic community and attracting tycoons their one and only aim now?

-Coreen C. 

“I, Too” by Langston Hughes

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“I, Too”, written by Langston Hughes, is a short poem/book that influences the equality of the African-American culture. “I, Too” is one of the most significant poems written considering how this poem has changed peoples’ views toward African-Americans. Also, since February is considered Black History Month, many people around the world celebrate and remember the important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. That being said, Langston Hughes, would be one of the most important people to remember for Black History Month as he would influence African-Americans’ equality by his style of writing. Hughes also described the rich culture of African-American life using rhythms influenced by jazz music.

This poem was written during the time where the significant Harlem Renaissance was occurring. The Harlem Renaissance was when many African-American writers, artists, and musicians would gather and present black culture to white audiences for the first time. The sentences in this poem are very short;however, they are very significant as well. Hughes writes, “They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes… Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table when company comes. Nobody’ll dare say to me, ‘Eat in the kitchen,’ then.”

These sentences are very significant as it shows that the character is standing up for his/her self and believes that equal treatment should be the answer. The final sentence in the poem is, “I, too, am America.” This is also very important as it describes pride in the African-American culture and that they are part of the people of America and not known as “things.” I really enjoyed this poem as this poem has changed many views of people throughout the world.

-Matt J. 11th grade

“I, Too” by Langston Hughes is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library