40 Before 40 {Book #3}: ‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell

40 Before 40: 'Gone with the Wind' by Margaret Mitchell

Certain characters in a novel are so memorable, that once you journey through their tale they become forever imprinted on your mind – characters like Dickens’s Miss Havisham, Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, Alcott’s Josephine March, Rowlings’s Harry Potter, Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins (to name a few of my favorites). There is no doubt in my mind that Margaret Mitchell’s, Scarlett O’Hara, easily slips into this auspicious company, and is – in my opinion – one of the most vivid and memorable characters brought to life on the page.

And while for years I refrained from reading this novel because I honestly thought it was just a cheesy love story, it in fact turned out to be much much more. Scarlett, while not specifically likable or a woman I would choose as a confidante, is a force to reckoned with and far from the idea of a quite Southern matron. This is a woman who would be better suited for navigating Wall Street in our era of female empowerment, rather than mucking about in the war-torn South of the 1880’s. As Rhett Butler states, Scarlett is far from helpless even in the most extreme of situations.

‘Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless.’

And while there was definitely a love story in the peripheral of this tale, the heart of the story speaks of the horrors of the Civil War and the way Southern women handled the loss of their men, their way of life, their plantations, their traditions, their security, and – at times – their lives. It is only at the end of the tale, as Rhett was leaving her, that Scarlett ‘sheathed her claws’ and gave into love – before then she was too busy just surviving.

‘God help the man who ever really loves you. You’d break his heart, my darling, cruel, destructive little cat who is so careless and confident she doesn’t even trouble to sheathe her claws.’

Salon Summary

RECOMMENDABILITY: 4 {out of 5} stars | ★★★★☆
REPETITIVE READABILITY: 2 {out of 5} stars | ★★☆☆☆
RATING: 3 {out of 5} stars | ★★★☆☆

One thought on “40 Before 40 {Book #3}: ‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell

Comments are closed.