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Old 03-03-2010, 10:43 AM   #61
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Hmm... Red Queen, Scarlett O'Hara.

Coincidence?? I'll let you decide.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:06 PM   #62
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Hmm... Red Queen, Scarlett O'Hara.

Coincidence?? I'll let you decide.
Coincidence?? I think not!
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:17 AM   #63
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Ashley's and Rhett's opinions on the war appear to have been identical, but their responses were worlds apart. Why was that, and what was the real reason Rhett joined the Confederate Army only when it became apparent to everyone that it was a losing cause?
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #64
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Ashley's and Rhett's opinions on the war appear to have been identical, but their responses were worlds apart. Why was that, and what was the real reason Rhett joined the Confederate Army only when it became apparent to everyone that it was a losing cause?
My view is that Ashley fought in the war because he always did what was expected of him and never wanted to disappoint. Everyone saw him in a certain light and he lived his life up to those expectations regardless of what he truly believed.

I think Rhett joined for similar reasons but it was only one person's respect he was truly seeking - Scarlett's. As soon as he realized the depth of his feelings for her he ran off to enlist. He knew despite her pleas for him to stay with her that he would never be able to compete with the myth of Ashley (and remember Ashley was a prisoner of war, a hero and possibly another martyr for the cause at this point) without being able to say that he fought in the war. As it turned out it was a wise investment since it ultimately facilitated his quest for respectability among the southerners.

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:33 PM   #65
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Ashley's and Rhett's opinions on the war appear to have been identical, but their responses were worlds apart. Why was that, and what was the real reason Rhett joined the Confederate Army only when it became apparent to everyone that it was a losing cause?
I found that pretty bizarre, too. It seems to me that despite the banter about the Yankees needing to look out if Scarlett was coming, she was in very real danger. Deserting her at that point didn't seem to square for me with his giving a damn about her at that point. Why not escort her home and then join up - a couple of days wasn't going to make a lot of difference.

It also doesn't seem to square with his profiteering behaviour either before or afterwards.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:03 PM   #66
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Why not escort her home and then join up - a couple of days wasn't going to make a lot of difference.
Maybe because he thought it would be easier to leave her on the road. There was no telling what she would find at Tara, and if he was with her he might have got embroiled in the situation there.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:27 PM   #67
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Maybe because he thought it would be easier to leave her on the road. There was no telling what she would find at Tara, and if he was with her he might have got embroiled in the situation there.
The way I read it, it was an emotional decision - perhaps actually seeing Atlanta in flames, he could no longer pretend disinterest. But still, I would have expected the immediate needs of Scarlett - and Melanie - to have been a larger influence. Perhaps if she'd been set on self-preservation he would have helped her - but as she insisted on going to Tara, which he told her was crazy, he left her to it.

OTOH, he'd supposedly only stayed on in Atlanta because he'd never been in a siege before, but presumably was really there for Scarlett. If he was braving all that to be around when things kicked off, it still seems odd to me to abandon her for the Cause at the last moment.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:18 PM   #68
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I think all of these conflicting emotions and motivations are what makes Gone with the Wind such a great novel.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:25 PM   #69
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I think all of these conflicting emotions and motivations are what makes Gone with the Wind such a great novel.

Yep. I'm sure you are right there.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #70
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I am absolute fascinated by all your reviews and comments. I will now give GWTW another go - certainly not fast enough to contribute to this discussion but nevertheless.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #71
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I am absolute fascinated by all your reviews and comments. I will now give GWTW another go - certainly not fast enough to contribute to this discussion but nevertheless.
Yeah, I stumbled through the first couple of hundred pages of Gone With the Wind, but once the action moves to Atlanta. it's an absolutely amazing novel, the best historical fiction I've read. Mitchell is able to convey all this very specific period detail and historical information without ever making it look "researched" or that she's showing off what she knows. It's still going to take me another week or so to finish it but right now I'm enthralled. After being dubious at first, now I'm a convert.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #72
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I am absolute fascinated by all your reviews and comments. I will now give GWTW another go - certainly not fast enough to contribute to this discussion but nevertheless.


And I will get to it too one of these days. It's still on my tbr list.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:02 AM   #73
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I found that pretty bizarre, too. It seems to me that despite the banter about the Yankees needing to look out if Scarlett was coming, she was in very real danger. Deserting her at that point didn't seem to square for me with his giving a damn about her at that point. Why not escort her home and then join up - a couple of days wasn't going to make a lot of difference.
I agree. I think it was unforgivable for Rhett to abandon them that way. If Scarlett had been alone, she could have unhitched the horse from the wagon and made a cross-country run for it. Instead, she's got to stay on the road through enemy-occupied territory in a slow-moving wagon with two basket cases and a newborn. Had she run into a Yankee patrol, she, Melanie, and Prissy would probably have been raped and killed and the baby would have died.

On the other hand, the situation made for great storytelling with Scarlett's slow, lonely, haunted ride through the devastated countryside, her joy at seeing Tara still standing, followed by finding her mother dead, her father mentally incapacitated, and no one else able to take charge. Far more poignant and it really sets the stage for next act of the melodrama.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:07 PM   #74
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On the other hand, the situation made for great storytelling
That's certainly true, and the very fact that we can have this kind of conversation about their motivations shows how well-drawn the characters are.

It's interesting to speculate what would happen after the end of the book. It doesn't seem a certainty to me at all that Rhett would continue not to give a damn. Scarlett is nothing if not determined, and having set her mind on Rhett, seems unlikely to want to give up on him without a fight. Also, Rhett was fond of the children - you could see them being a draw.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #75
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And I will get to it too one of these days. It's still on my tbr list.
Want to reopen the discussion thread around Xmas 2020?
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