I'm sorry it took me so long to get this review up... I wanted to watch the movie before reviewing it.
So, at long last I've read Margaret Mitchell's classic novel of the War Between the States and the Reconstruction that followed: Gone With the Wind. It was quite a book I must say and I'm not sure what to think of it but I'll try my best to put my thoughts as coherently as possible into this post.
First off, I was reading this for a read-a-long hosted by The Pursuit of Happiness, which lasted approximately from May to August.... obviously I got done a little early. I finished listening to Little Women on the way up to Michigan over Memorial Day Weekend so all I had for the way back was Gone With the Wind. So even though I still had at least three fourths of it left, by the time I reached home I had finished it! I'm a really fast reader and, for a reason I still cannot quite grasp, I found it oddly gripping.
Let's start with the characters... because I think Gone With the Wind is all about the characters.
Scarlett- Do not like her and never did throughout the story. She's despicable. I'll say she is determined and a strong female character but despicable.
Rhett Butler- Despicable but I actually like him better than Scarlette. I'm not quite sure how I feel about him as a whole. He did make me laugh often enough.
Ashley Wilkes- Sorry but I think he was a weak man in some respects. He never should have admitted to Scarlette he had feelings for her.... and on that note I don't see how someone as smart as he seems to be could like her over Melanie... or like her at all actually. Throughout the book you can see that though he is faithful physically to his wife he is unfaithful emotionally... which isn't a good thing either. I just wish I had seen more strength in his character.
Melanie Wilkes- Besides the fact that sometimes she is ridiculously naive Melanie is a sweet, kind and unselfish women and easily the best character in the story.
I read that Margaret Mitchell said the book was about survival and I can definitely see that. Scarlett did everything to survive.... everything bad. I also felt that Scarlett didn't know a good thing when she had it. She and Rhett were horribly perfect for each other and she realized that far too late. A lot of the time, she just didn't get things!
I watched the movie and I thought it was pretty good. I'm a stickler for accuracy and they did a fairly good job with that but they still left out chunks here and there and zipped through it very fast... though I guess four hours isn't what you would think of when you think of as fast. I felt they made Scarlett is more likable in the movie... they leave out parts that make her look worse. I thought the casting was great though. Clark Gable was perfect as Rhett Butler.
Gone with the Wind is a good novel and interesting but I would disagree in saying it's one of the greatest books in literature. Maybe I'll change my mind on that someday but I have a hard time liking a story that has an unlikable protagonist. :)
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