Reading Club: Gone With the Wind

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Gone with the Wind is a novel written by American writer Margaret Mitchell, which was first published in 1936. The story was happening in Clayton country, Atlanta, during the time of American Civil War. Oh, also, the fact which really shocked me is that this book was the only novel Mitchell has written.

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Yep. Gone with the wind combined Mitchell’s lifelong effort. The main character in the book— Scarlett, also reflected the characteristic of Mitchell. Margaret Mitchell was born in the Cenozoic city of Atlanta in the southern United States in 1900. When she was young, she enjoyed listening to stories about the history of Atlanta. Atlanta war attracted Margaret Mitchell’s fascination, and those veterans of the tour has become her major hobby. They loved Marguerite very much and taught her how to harness the horse, which made Margaret more like a boy, just like Scarlett, the main character of the book. She grew up Fitztalade Manor which was an important scene of Picnic barbecue. The prototype of Ashley was the young handsome military officer who died in a pretty young age. And the experiences of Scarlett were actually the unlucky projection of Mitchell’s own life. The death of her mother casted a huge shadow on Margaret’s life. She had to support the whole family with her father and her brother. And finally she lost her vitality and chose to evade. How similar is to Scarlett. But I can’t understand why Mitchell supported the slavery.

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Well, I think she support the slavery is because the War. For a little girl, the war is really cruel. The turmoil in World War I allowed Margaret to experience the truth and cruelty of the war. For the first time, she realized the preciousness of life. The horrible stories about war she heard in childhood came back like ghosts and entangled her. she began to experience the nightmare and insomnia pain, which also afflicted her life. The cruel life made Mitchell desire the peaceful life, which is the life before the war— the life under the slavery.

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That’s what exactly what I think. And I think that is the reason why Mitchell named this book. The wind represents Civil war, and the things gone with the wind is the peaceful life under slavery, which has gone with the war. However, the book was not only about the desire of yesterday’s life, but also contained the hope to the future. Just like the last sentence of the book—- “tomorrow is another day.” … …

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Wwwwwait. Before we talk about that sentence, I have a question. In the end, Scarlet mentioned Tara. In that condition, why she wanted to go back Tara?

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And I remember her father said “Land is the only thing in world that worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”

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Exactly. So why was Tara so important?

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Well—- I think—– Tara reflected the peaceful life before the war. Like what we have talked before, Scarlet desired a peaceful life, and the time before the war—- the time she lived in Tara, she can get everything she wants. Tara is a symbol of happiness and also eternal pursuit of better life so that after the great destruction of the war, she began to miss the beautiful life back in Tara..

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And this is also exactly what we have been talking about—-tomorrow is another day

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No one can be certain about the future happenings and Scarlet must have fear about this uncertainty, though, holding the Tara as her destination, Scarlet will definitely continue to fight for her lifelong hearth and happiness.

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Indeed, Scarlet would never give up her hope and her optimism about living; it’s already in her nature.

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Talking about personality, I remember someone have asked me about my opinion about Scarlet’s selfishness.

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I have to admitted that Scarlet is not a welcoming person in the story as well; almost everyone thinks she is a selfish person.

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Actually she’s not. Back to that period, it was very common that women only cared about themselves, mostly in marriage, entertainment gossips, etc.. Yet Scarlet was quite different; even if she might sometimes exchange others’ interest for hers, her true motives were always to achieve the happiness for her family, for Tara, and for people around her. When Scarlet made those decisions whose consequences were considered as disappearance of the benefit of other people, the truth hiding behind the surface was the tremendous sacrifice of herself, which was not, most of the time, realized. At the very beginning of the story, it is reasonable to consider her as a symbol of the self-centered, but her true nature emerges experiencing the great destruction of the war: stay for Melanie instead of running away, rise for Tara instead of watching the ruins and crying, sacrifice her pursuit to beloved ones instead of always considering her own benefit for the future of Tara. People can never criticize Scarlet as a selfish women comparing to most people who were only caring about their own good.

编者按

《飘》是美国作家玛格丽特·米切尔创作的长篇小说,该作1937年获得普利策文学奖。小说以亚特兰大以及附近的一个种植园为故事场景,描绘了内战前后美国南方人的生活。作品刻画了那个时代的许多南方人的形象,占中心位置的斯佳丽、瑞德、艾希礼、梅兰妮等人是其中的典型代表。他们的习俗礼仪、言行举止、精神观念、政治态度,通过对斯佳丽与白瑞德的爱情纠缠为主线,成功地再现了林肯领导的南北战争,美国南方地区的社会生活。

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