Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Great Gone With the Wind Readalong - Part 1

One of my goals for this year was to read more of the classics.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten very far with that lately.  A lot of the classics that I've read, I've struggled through.  However, when I saw the chance to read Gone with the Wind as a readalong over at The Heroine's Bookshelf, I jumped at the chance.

Like I said, I was scared that I was going to start reading this and hate it, but that is so not the case!  Part 1 is chapters 1-7.  You can join in the discussion here!
**WARNING:  IF YOU'VE NOT READ THIS BOOK, DO NOT READ ANY FARTHER.  SPOILERS ARE AHEAD!**

I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with Scarlett right now.  She's 16.  She's young and beautiful and she's well aware of that fact.  Sometimes I can't stand how she's just so into herself.  However, I really have to admire her in other ways.  Where she lives and the time that she lives in, it is very important for women to act certain ways.  Scarlett has her father's Irish disposition, and she doesn't care what other people think most of the time.  She's defiant, but within reason, which is something that I like about her.
You also can't help but feel bad for her.  She's in love with Ashley, who's promised to marry another woman.  When she confesses that she loves him and things don't go her way, she's so angry that she agrees to marry another man that she has no interest in, just to spite Ashley.  She's married within two weeks and is widowed soon after that, when her husband dies in a war camp.  She's then left with a child she doesn't want and no life, since widows aren't supposed to act certain ways.  So, for these reasons you almost feel bad for her, but at the same time, she did seal her own fate in the heat of her temper.

Marriage is an aspect of this book that intrigues me.  Apparently, everyone is under the impression that unless a couple is alike, they can not make a marriage work.  The fact that even Scarlett's father tells her this is funny, because Gerald and his wife Ellen are opposites, which explains why their marriage works so well.  I would say that most people tend to think now, that opposites really attract.

Another thing that I've loved so far is that Margaret Mitchell didn't just tell us about Scarlett and get on with the story.  She's given us the background of her father Gerald, an Irish immigrant who earned everything that he has, and her mother, Ellen, a lady from Savannah, from a french family of old money.  Learning the background of Scarlett's family I think it important.  It gives the reader even more information on the time period and also lets us get to know Scarlett just a little more.

I have to say though, my favorite part of this book has been the descriptions.  The description of Tara, and of the Georgia county that its located.  For me, being from South Carolina, I've been to most of the areas mentioned in this book.  I live 30 minutes away from Augusta, Ga.  I've been to Savannah, Ga many times.  Atlanta as well.  One of the most striking things for me is Scarlett's trip to Charleston and the talk about the battery there.  I've stood on the battery, I've been to the park there.  I've driven down Rainbow Row I don't know how many times.  I've visited Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.  Charleston is my favorite place is the world, and I'm a true southern girl at heart.  Reading the description in this book makes me imagine them back during that time.  Its easy to do and I love it.  Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres.  Most of the books that I read take place in various other places, and reading this has made me really think about how much I love the region that I live in.

So now it's time to delve into Part 2!  If you're interested in participating, head on over to The Heroine's Bookshelf and get the discussion schedule and join in at any time!

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