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.

Book Review: Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

gone_with_the_windHistorical fiction, the fabled nightmare of our literature! So they say, but most are quite gripping once you’ve delved in. This was the case for me with Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

I admit, I started this classic for my social studies class. However, once I got past the first few chapters, the rest of the pages blew by quickly.
Setting the scene during the civil war, this story tells of Scarlett O’Hara, daughter of rich Southern plantation owners. Flirty and frivolous, she spends her early life attending parties and breaking boys’ hearts. There is small talk of civil war, but she pays no heed. When her “true love” turns her down, a series of events places her in Atlanta. Suddenly, the war is much more realistic and closer to home. Thousands enlist to join the Confederate army, and hospitals begin working overtime. With a harsh blockade, life within the city becomes stricter, but she manages. Finally, the Union breaks through the last defenses, and storms the city. Fleeing to her old ransacked home, Scarlett struggles to hold together the family and rebuild her life. Gradually, she raises her social status, recovering along with the rest of the world.

This historical fiction gives detailed descriptions of Civil War era life. From the daily life in the city to the social hierarchy, nothing is left out. What makes it so interesting is that Mitchell tells the story from a Southerner’s point of view. Usually the South is portrayed as a single-faced bad guy, but Gone With the Wind gives us two viewpoints. Many average people were just defending their homeland rather than preserving slavery. It really sheds a new light on Union General Sherman’s March to the Sea, in which thousands of homes and towns were pillaged. The history in this book makes it especially interesting, as it places everything in context of real events.

Gone With the Wind gained most of its fame as an acclaimed love story. Sadly, I just don’t see it. I feel like it wasn’t really romantic at all until near the very end of the book. Even then, it seemed like Scarlett and her lover, Rhett Butler, weren’t truly in love. Her first failed marriages were purely out of self interest, and her original love never returned any feelings. I think there are probably lots of better love stories out there. But don’t take my word for it, read it yourself! This timeless classic is a must for any avid reader. Soon, you won’t even mind the history part. Enjoy!

-Phillip X., 8th grade

Book Review: Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

gone_with_the_windSet in mid-nineteenth century Georgia, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is one of the most unforgettable stories of all time.

A charming and obstinate sixteen-year-old girl, Scarlett O’Hara is the belle of the County. Like the rest of the South, she is used to a pampered lifestyle, where slaves wait on her twenty-four hours a day. All she does is dream about Ashley Wilkes, the man who she is madly in love with. When the Civil War begins, Scarlett and the rest of the South must give up their spoiled lives. At the same time, however, she must win Ashley’s heart and fight to survive one of the most brutal wars in American history.

Gone with the Wind is not just a story about love; it is also a very informative book that teaches readers many valuable lessons. Scarlett stayed strong and fought bravely throughout the war. Her conduct teaches readers determination, perseverance, and optimism. In order to survive, she gave up her old life and even picked cotton like a slave. Because of this, she learned to appreciate what she had in life, although she eventually became greedy because of fear.

As the book goes on, readers will become attached to the many characters, including the headstrong Scarlett and the sardonic Rhett. In my opinion, Scarlett is a spoiled, greedy brat who doesn’t care about anything except herself and money. I thought Scarlett got what she deserved when Rhett mocked her all those times and when the town treated her like an outcast. However, I still felt a connection to Scarlett, and actually felt sorry for her at the end of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gone with the Wind, and it will always be one of the greatest classics of all time. As the Chicago Tribune says, Gone with the Wind is “fascinating and unforgettable! A remarkable book, a spectacular book, a book that will not be forgotten!”

-Kaylie W., 9th grade