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The Happy Feminist

I read "Gone with the Wind" for the first time two years ago and loved it. It was quite a page turner, but I think certainly good enough literature to satisfy even those with the most rarefied tastes.

I also read a biography of Margaret Mitchell at the same time. One of the surprising things I learned is that Mitchell felt very strongly that the antebellum and Civil War south should NOT be prettied up and idealized-- the movie version of the book notwithstanding. I also understand that Mitchell became quite learned in the history of Georgia and that her novel was well respected by historians.


Speaking of female authors of ridiculously long books, Ayn Rand praised GWTW in her nonfiction book The Romantic Manifesto, because she felt that it integrated plot and theme so well; the main characters symbolize elements of the impact of the Civil War on Southern society, while still becoming "real" to the reader.

I will be curious to see what your group thinks of the book on re-reading it when they are older and perhaps more politically aware, considering its somewhat infantilizing/ primitivizing depiction of African Americans. The Wind Done Gone was a pretty terrible book, but it did make a valid criticism in that respect.


I received a copy of Gone with the Wind which was a gift from my grandparents to my great grandparents for Christmas in 1939. It isn't a first edition by any means, but it is very precious to me, since it has the inscription written by my grandmother so many years ago.

The first couple of chapters of Gone with the Wind make me laugh because I am from Augusta, and I know first hand how people from Charleston, Savannah and Augusta are prejudiced towards Atlanta.

Also, I know too many boys who have been thrown out of UGA because all they were interested in doing was drinking and shooting guns and playing with their dogs and chasing girls - just like the Tarlton twins.

Mitchell's historical account of the way the South was settled is very true and explains society features still around today.

One of the most intriguing to me is in the way the house slaves scorned the poor white people. It adds an often overlooked element to the prejudices of the south - Where although being a field slave was undoubtably the worst place to be - being a poor white sharecropper was infinitely worse than being a house slave.

It is an intriguing novel.

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