Gone With the Wind

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Gone with the Wind is a classic novel by Margaret Mitchell depicting the Civil War-era South. In it, we meet Scarlett O'Hara, the charming but strong-willed heroine, and Rhett Butler, the dashing rogue who (secretly) loves her. My 'foray' into the world of Gone with the Wind began when a friend of my mom's suggested it to me, insisting that I would love it. Admittedly, I had huge reservations about reading it. After all, it's not exactly a short read: it contains 1,024 pages. The idea of reading a book of that length to someone of my age was about as appealing as listening to the 'It's a Small World' song in a continuous loop. However, I took the plunge and read the book.

And am I glad that I did. I was shocked by how mesmerizing Gone with the Wind was. The basic story is the willful Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara is deeply in love with the wishy-washy Ashley Wilkes and is oblivious to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, honor and family traditions prevent her from marrying Ashley. Scarlett's morals and outlook on life are challenged when she meets Rhett Butler, an equally stubborn blockade runner. To top off all of the drama, these characters are all living in the American South on the outbreak of the Civil War. Scarlett must use her scruples to survive and keep what's important to her.

I highly recommend Gone with the Wind for any reader who is willing to spend a large slab of time reading it. It is often classified as one of the best American novels ever published, and rightly so. Gone with the Wind contains many traits of a great book: lifelike characters, rich dialogue, and beautiful prose. The only drawbacks of this book are the historical descriptions and racism. Often in Gone with the Wind, historical explanations are used to describe a battle or event that occurred in real life to add realism to the book. This is usually fine, but the explanations tend to get long-winded. In addition, with this being a book from the Confederate standpoint, there are race-related profanities and the like. However, it is easy to take in stride if one realizes that that's the way the world was back then. Gone with the Wind is a classic, and will remain a great novel through the ages.





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