Thursday, April 8, 2010

Final Review - Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936

Plot: ohmywordthisbookissolong! So that's the first word I can use to describe the plot...LONG. I believe it spans about 11 years, including the entirety of the Civil War and the majority of the Restoration that followed it. As you can imagine, a person goes through many many experiences in this length of time, and changes a great deal. So there was a lot to get through. I don't even know how to give it a score. It was a good story, and if you don't know the famous line (though just slightly different from the book) that ends the movie, it's not my fault. But you should know it doesn't exactly go the happily-ever-after route. Which is disappointing to me, because I learn more and more what a hopeless romantic I really am. But since this is my blog and I make the rules, I have decided to refuse to post a score on this fictional biography's plot.

Style: I'm not sure if this fits under style, per se, but holy cow I feel like I learned a ton about the Civil War and particularly the South reading this book. I recognize that this is historical fiction, but it was super interesting coming from a "Yankee" raised in our amazing public school system to recognize Lincoln as a hero for freeing the slaves. Which, of course slavery = bad, obviously, I hope that would go without saying, but everything else that played into it and the treatment of the South after the war was crazy! Very very informative on a cultural level for me. Overall I think it was good stylistically. Easy to read, easy to follow. Interestingly written. For example, when describing our main character, Scarlett O'Hara, Mitchell used descriptions that Scarlett would have thought of herself. And when dealing with that particular character, Mitchell would only write about things that Scarlett knew or felt. When she would occasionally write a part of the story that Scarlett was not present for, you would start to get a real idea of other peoples' emotions and motivations and learn how misguided Scarlett was. Good. 8/10

Rereadablilty: Rarely if ever. It was good, but it was just so LONG!

Final Decision: Shelf it

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