Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gone With the Wind Check-in #4 -- Scarlett Continues to Evolve

So the war is over now, but survival is just as tough as ever for our heroine. But Scarlett is as tough as nails and willing to do anything to save Tara. Including selling herself as a mistress to Rhett Butler and stealing her sister's betrothed for her own.

I have to say I continue to be impressed by just how well developed Scarlett is...she's the sort of character that I would probably hate to know in real life but can't help but admire in fiction. Despite the fact that she's brilliant in some ways and completely dim in others, I find myself rooting for her and her success. I found this section to be full of interesting historical evolution and I am continually impressed with just how timeless it is.

On Scarlett and Atlanta:
"Scarlett nodded, a grim pleasure and pride in her adopted town filling her. As Frank said, it was a pushy, impudent place and that was why she liked it. It wasn't hidebound and stick-in-the-muddish like the older towns and it had a brash exuberance that matched her own. 'I'm like Atlanta,' she thought. It takes more than Yankees or a burning to keep me down.'"

Scarlett on God:
"She {Careen} prayed a good deal for when Scarlett came into her room without knocking, she always found her on her knees by her bed. The sight never failed to annoy her, for Scarlett felt the time for prayer had passed. If God has seen fit to punish them so, then God could very well do without prayers. Religion had always been a bargaining process with Scarlett. She promised God good behavior in exchange for favors. God had broken the bargain time and again, to her way of thinking, and she felt that she owed him nothing at all now."

Scarlett on Southern culture:
"She could not ignore life. She had to live it and it was too brutal, too hostile for her to even try to gloss over its harshness with a smile. Of the sweetness and courage and unyielding pride of her friends, Scarlett saw nothing. She saw only a silly stiff-neckedness which observed facts but smiled and refused to look them in the face."

Scarlett on women:
"A startling thought this, that a woman could handle business matters as well as or better than a man, a revolutionary thought to Scarlett, who had been reared in the tradition that men were omniscient and women none too bright. Of course, she had discovered that this was not altogether true, but the pleasant fiction still stuck in her mind. Never before had she put this remarkable idea into words. She sat quite still, with the heavy book across her lap, her mouth a little open with surprise, that during her lean months at Tara she had done a man's work and done it well. She had been brought up to believe that a woman alone could accomplish nothing, yet she had managed the plantation without men to help her until Will came. Why, why, her mind stuttered, I believe women could manage everything in the world without men's help--except having babies, and God knows, no woman in her right mind would have babies if she could help it."

So you can see I really think this section was quite pivotal for Scarlett. Don't you love her?

A few questions for those reading along:
1) What in the world is the Ashley attraction? I think he's completely lame.
2) Do you love Scarlett or find her repulsive? Do you think the world needs survivors like her and Rhett to do the dirty work while others depend on them but manage to keep their conscience?

Also, just so you know in advance: This fall I'll be hosting a readalong for Lonesome Dove. Probably in October. So I've told you WAY in advance so you can plan for it!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate hearing your thoughts.