I just finished reading Gone With the Wind this past Wednesday. It took me 10days and it is by far the longest ebook I have ever read. It was 993 pages and I felt it was easy reading and a page turner. I have to first say that I have seen the movie a long time ago but the book is far better and left a much different impression on me.
After viewing the movie as a child I thought it was just a dumb 'chick' book about a heroine. But after reading it through I am amazed how complex it was, how great Mitchell was as a writer, and how she provided all those details about the important character's life history to get us to that day before the South mobilized for war.
The major theme to me was not 'a lifestyle was gone with the wind' but how people chase artificial social levels to find out that they are not worth it. I felt everyone had a place (or role) in the society of the time and no one seemed happy where they were and wanted to be in a higher (better) place. Ellen (Scarlet's mom) wanted nothing to do with her family so married a man significantly older and moved 100s of miles in land to Tara. She ended up working to her death from sun up to sun down. Scarlet's dad had to flee Ireland and start over, but as soon as he did he wanted to be an established planter, the landed gentry. When ge got it through marriage and luck of cards he seemed trapped in the world he was in. Ashely was a 'gentleman farmer' but wanted to be an artsy thinker. Scarlet wanted to be a wife of Ashley but never could see Ashley for what he was. She then wanted to be rich and once she got it she was ultimately not happy. She wanted people to fear her and they did and she missed the intimacy of friends. Rhett wanted to rebel from everyone to prove he was better than them and how they are all stupid and ends up running back to his past and his family. Only Melanie was balanced and happy where she was.
Another theme was how people always looked down on others as if they were better. The society and gentle people of the County all looked down on the trash, negros, and "nig*ers." Even the negro servants looked down on whites if they were of a lower level as their masters. But then the people of the coastal communities (Charleston and Savanahh) looked down on the people of the County, so there was always someone better out there. This was common throughout the book.
I read this book for historical interest and I learned a bit more about the Civil War and how it was ebb and flow at times.The movie could not focus on that and also changed some events around (like how Scarlet's father dies.) There are even some extra children Scarlet had I do not recall in the movie.
All and all I am glad I finally did read it. I would recommend this book to others. But I won't bother with the sequel. I heard it is garbage.
Last edited by Billsuits1; 11-20-2011 at 06:38 AM.