Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Oh, the lost opportunities they had to tell each other the truth of their feelings, but pride ruled their hearts. Rhett kept himself well guarded from any possible hurt, and Scarlett would instantly throw off any idea of sharing her true feelings the moment Rhett displayed his arrogant shield of armor. Was theirs true love after all? I cannot believe it was because true love never feels the need to protect and hide itself.
If you look at Melanie, the one character in the entire story who displayed mature feelings for all of the people in her life, her love was sacrificial, gentle, forgiving, and true. Had Rhett possessed a love like Melanie's, his love for Scarlett would never have run out.
And Scarlett - oh, poor Scarlett - was too late in discovering the good she did have right before her when she lost it forever. I believe that she did feel the pain of loss at the end, which did her some good, and I think she would have fought to make it up to Rhett if he would have given her that chance; but, again, it was too late because Rhett was definitive about it being over (and I really do not think she will ever get him back).
But enough about Rhett and Scarlett because GWTW is so much more than just them; it is about the South. Being a North Easterner by birth, and now a Westerner, the South had been perceived (by me) as the naughty, rebellious child of the nation that dared to throw a tantrum and do what it will in order to have its way. (Kind of like Scarlett.)
After reading GWTW, I have a new perspective of the South, its people, its ideals, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. While slavery is immoral, and we should not have had to fight a war to end it, I still want to have a better understanding of that side of the story I never knew. I am curious how accurate and true the author's recount of the South and its people during and after the War is. I will look forward to researching this.
In the meanwhile, there are so many good, in-depth reviews of GWTW already, and I believe I cannot give an account after just one read. I feel so inept in articulating how great this story was for me. I loved it, and I know I want to read it again in the future.
About all I can say is: after I was done reading it, my initial instinct was that I had just finished a fulfilling and satisfying meal and that I needed some time to digest it before I could even say anything worthwhile about it. And even still, this is all I can say because I feel rather speechless. Usually I shout, "Done!" when I finish one of my books, but with this, after 733 pages of small print, I closed the cover and just sat silent for awhile, totally void of any outward emotion. It was all over. I am really not this dramatic, so it is definitely strange to admit this; but I just wanted to be honest about how this book has literally knocked the wind out of me. (No pun intended.)
There is one problem though: after experiencing this epic work, how in the world will I ever get through this pabulum called modern lit that I am reading now? *Sigh*