Gone With the Wind study guide contains a biography of Margaret Mitchell, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Gone With the Wind literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Gone With the Wind. Remember me. Forgot your password? In context: " Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything," he shouted, his thick, short arms making wide gestures of indignation, "for 'tis the only thing in this world that lasts, and don't you be forgetting it!
Rhett told Scarlet that that she was "no lady". Most of the men were patriotic to the South and wanted to fight.
Study Guide for Gone With the Wind Gone With the Wind study guide contains a biography of Margaret Mitchell, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Revisions in dialogue, in the number of children Scarlett bears, and in other details are abundant in the film.
Nearly every scholar who has written on Gone with the Wind has pointed out those changes, but what is perhaps of even greater importance is what remained the same - the character of Scarlett. Strong willed, determined, and with a finely honed survivalist instinct, Scarlett's nature was unchanged by the transition from book to film. When the book was published, the character of Scarlett O'Hara would have been a familiar one to readers well acquainted with the history of Southern literature. William R. Taylor thoroughly examines what he labels "plantation literature," novels revolving around Southern plantations written in the 's, 's, and 's.
In fact, Taylor declares the Southern plantation mistress the "heart and soul" of the plantation. Their daughters reflect their strength; Taylor even describes them as "Amazonish. Indeed, Gone with the Wind is the story of a woman of great strength overcoming all odds to care for her family and herself. Scarlett marries a man she does not love in order to get the money to save Tara, their plantation. Scarlett disregards public opinion, buying and running two sawmills in order to maintain her family's financial security.
When her sister and the house servants complain, Scarlett even works in the fields of Tara herself to ensure a good harvest of cotton. Most shocking, though, is when Scarlett kills a Yankee who has come to steal from Tara. Scarlett is not the only strong female character in the story. Her voice is "never raised in command to a servant or reproof to a child" yet is "obeyed instantly. Melanie Wilkes, Scarlett's sister-in-law, is also representative of a kind of quiet, gentile strength.
Gone With the Wind: Literature - A Research Guide for Students
She possesses an otherworldly kindness, and is a paragon of maternalism. The women's actions echo the plantation literature of the 's, 's, and 's. Though larger American society may have emphasized female timidity, the female characters' strength is an admirable trait accorded particularly to white Southern women in traditional plantation literature.
Viewers of the film might also have been familiar with its cinematic foundation. Early twentieth-century films about the South share four basic characteristics: the romanticizing of the Old South, the reconciliation of North and South, the spoiled and strong-willed Southern belles, and the happy complacency of slaves.
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Selznick's Gone with the Wind. Part of the romanticization of the Old South was due to a turn away from Mitchell's attempts at realism.
Plot and Main Characters of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone With the Wind"
Changes in the story wrought by the Production Code, a censorship organization, smoothed over the ugliness that was present in the book. The characters in the film no longer inhabit a world full of racist slurs, brothels, and painful miscarriages and births. Instead, Selznick's South is generally a safe world inhabited by "righteous" people.
Critics from across the country not only praised the film, they lamented the passing of the Old South, further proof of Selznick's success at romanticizing the region. One reviewer from the San Francisco Chronicle wrote woefully of "how completely the gracious, patrician life of the Old South, the life of Tara and Twelve Oaks, has been shattered, never to be reclaimed.
Among the most reprehensible elements of this story are the black characters. Unlike the complex, strong-willed white women, the black women in the film and novel are decidedly one-dimensional. Though Mitchell does assert their intelligence, she also relies heavily on stereotypes, such as the Mammy, to fill out the black characters. In the transition to film the characters become even less realistic. Worth remembering before indicting her as entirely selfish and spoiled, however, is the price she has paid herself.
The adult Scarlett has been hardened almost beyond recognition from that flighty young girl preparing for the party as Twelve Oaks as the novel opens.
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Scarlet has overcome the worst possible kinds of adversity as a demonstration of willpower and focus, but something else as well. In a sense, at some point along the way in the story—and that point may vary for each individual, it is certainly not true that a singular moment can be identified—every reader of Gone with the Wind will realize that Ashley Wilkes just is not in any way or shape a good romantic match for Scarlett.
Equally true is the realization that of all the many men who have been her suitor or whom she has actually married for that matter, none is more perfectly suited to temperament than Rhett. For every reader who reached the same conclusion about pages earlier, the gap understanding that is only filled by Scarlett herself on the very last page is about as ironic as it gets.
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The ending to Gone with the Wind is, indeed ironic because Scarlett stated the famous line "As God is my witness I will never be hungry again. As the days go by, she does learn that there are others in the world and she is not as self-interested as she was in the beginning. What is the only thing worth living for working for?