Well, I think that the title of this post should pretty much say it all! I mean, look at that woman. I rarely say that the book is better than the movie, and while I’m not EXACTLY saying that this time, I will say that the movie is pretty damn good in it’s own right. And part of that has to do largely with the fact that I think Vivien Leigh makes an absolutely wonderful Scarlett! And, to be honest, Clark Gable is no shrug as Rhett Butler, who is quickly becoming one of my top favorite literary males of, you know, all time (in case that isn’t redundant enough).
I’ll admit off the bat that this post won’t be quite as…put together as some of the last posts have been! I just got done with a Zumba class and a walk home and my book is all the way upstairs and I just can’t right now. Just can’t. So this post will be sadly quote-less. But I’m loving the book and have quite a bit of raving to do, even without my textual support.
OH ME SWEET EGADS, THE WAY MARGARET MAKES A SCENE! Yes, Margaret Mitchell and I are basically on a first name basis now, seeing as how we’ve been spending so much of our time together lately. And let me tell you – this girl knows how to write a book. I’ve never been to Civil War-era Atlanta, but I feel like I have. And isn’t the true mark of a powerful author? From the moment Scarlett steps off the train to Atlanta, the city jumps off the page at you – everything from the train tracks to the soldiers doing drill, to the woman-as-butterflies who proudly display their blockade-ran dresses. And it’s all so…innocent, almost. I think that’s one of the things that’s so touching to me about my reading so far – the people in this book are so honestly invested in the Cause, in their Southern Pride, and to know that’s just not how history turns out is almost too sad. This truly is a book of the Old South, and while I understand and recognize the horrors that existed under this veneer of chivalry and pride, and I know that many, many people have problems with this book because it does seem to make Uncle Tom’s out of almost all of it’s major African American characters. But to know that these women are cheering and these fathers are singing unto a flag of an army that will loose – whose soldiers, sons, fathers, and brothers will die – is incredibly sad to me, whatever other scruples may exist.
I also feel like this post wouldn’t be nearly complete without talking at least a little bit about Scarlett. I mean, she is, like, the hearts blood of the book (along with the actual town of Atlanta, which is becoming more and more of a mirror-foil for Scarlett). She’s stubborn and conceited and self-involved and mean and caddy – and UTTERLY ADDICTIVE. There is power in her, because she is the one girl who doesn’t want to do what society tells her. She wants to run and frolic and wear her bright dresses and love the one man that she wants more than anything. I actually just had a pretty big debate with Beardman last night on whether or not Scarlett was strong woman or just a cold bitch, in the long run. As you can imagine, I was on the strong woman side: don’t get me wrong, while I think that Scarlett has the power to and does hurt people without regard, I think there is a strength in a woman at that time wanting to march to the beat of her own drum, of making it for herself. If I had my book, I would type out the dozens of passages I’ve underlined where there seems to be so much conflict in Scarlett – conflict between her mother’s blood and her father’s, between all that she is expected to be (and tries to be) and who she actually is. And, speaking for this reader, it’s that conflict in her that keep the pages flying, despite how despicable she’s recently been.
This week has been crazy busy, so I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you all, but hopefully I’ll be back even more next week with some Shakespeare, a Tolkien or two, and maybe even some snippets of the new gardening project I’ve started! And, because it’s on theme and I can, I leave you to your weekend with the many faces of Scarlett and Rhett!