‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell is a dramatic description of the life of a girl named Scarlett O’Hara and Southern society in the US in the backdrop of the civil war. It is a very one-sided book, politically, as it portrays the Union as the wrongdoers and the evil ones and portrays the Confederates as the good and pure ones who were wronged by the Northerners. It shows the society of those times as very conservative and rigid. Those who opposed the system were made outcastes with haste.
The story follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara from the age of sixteen to twenty seven. It starts off a couple of weeks before the civil war when everything was pleasant, money and food was aplenty and people lived as they liked; through the tough war years and the even tougher years of reconstruction where Southerners were second class citizens in their own states and subjected to brutal mental torture and physical difficulties.
These are mostly seen through the eyes of Scarlett O’Hara, who at the beginning of the book had not a care beyond the fashion of the day and the number of her beaux and at the end, has been married three times, buried two while pining for another man and being deserted by the third when she finally realizes that she is in love with him, bearing three children, burying one and suffering a miscarriage, along with having to support her father, her sisters, her sister-in-law and her aunts, her estate, through back breaking hard labour. The blossoming beautiful girl grows into a woman who refused to wither away despite the chains that the society imposed upon her. She is looked down upon with disapproval at first and then turns into downright hatred and avoidance. But, her disposition and circumstances act in such a way that she can never adhere to the strict norms of society of those days.
The book ends on a negative note when Scarlett who is married to Mr. Rhett Butler, who is unimaginably rich through dishonest means, is abandoned by him just when she realised that she is in love with him. The last line of the book is ‘Tomorrow is another day’ shows Scarlett’s optimistic outlook towards life. This book is a tribute to women whose journey had been a tough one but still they never give up.
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