Gone with the Wind is a famous novel which was written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936, and adapted to film with the same name in 1939. Both film and novel received positive appraises from adorers all over the world. It is the story of progress of a girl named Scarlett O’Hara from the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner to a commercially successful businesswoman who fought for her family’s sake during the Civil War and the days of Reconstruction. The name of the novel “Gone with the Wind” was one of the most curious things that readers always wrestle with while reading or watching it.Order now
Consequently, what has really gone with the wind? To understand what things have gone with the wind, at first, we need to mention the setting of the novel. The story takes place in Georgia, mostly in Atlanta, during the Civil War of the 1860s. However, important sections also take place in Tara, the plantation home of the O’Hara family. The story begins with the Civil War and expands seven or eight years after the war, a period during which the “old south” with its elegance, wealth and aristocratic traditions is subjected to a federally plan called “Radical Reconstruction.
Atlanta is first burned and then reestablished by Yankees who prosper while southerners who stick hopelessly to the old traditions in proud poverty. The setting of any novel normally affects the entire story, and so does “Gone with the Wind. ” During and following the war, there is a shortage of everything, even necessities such as food, water, clothes, and shelter. People have the instinct to survive so they need to do as many things as possible to help themselves. Characters in the story need to adjust to live in the county of destruction.
Their lifestyle, tradition, and code of honor need to be replaced by the survival effort. After analyzing effects that setting have, we are going to our first and only question: “What has gone with the wind? ” Actually, the title of the novel was cautiously taken from the poem of Dowson, “Cynara. ” In the poem “Cynara,” “gone with the wind” refers to the loss of love. In the novel, Scarlett O’Hara uses the phrase when she wonders if her home on a plantation called “Tara” is still standing or if it is “gone with the wind which had swept through Georgia.
In my opinion, what has gone with the wind is the dream of the Southerners about a prosperous civilization with old traditions that would last forever but now have been swept away by the wind of war. The change in the face of the South firstly expresses through the change of the lifestyle here. There used to be many splendid families which were white and wealthy with large fertility plantations. However, when the war happened, the Yankees used Tara to devastate the plantation, strip it of food, the house of Wilkes was destroyed and the O’Hara house had nothing to eat.
The war also steals many lives in Tara, including people to Scarlett. The life always surrounded by parties through all days and nights which never had to bother about the poverty or food had gone for good. The southern residents need to give up all old tradition to work to support themselves and their families. Scarlett must get rid of everything in order to survive – marriage without love to get money, manslaughter not to endanger her family. Another change clearly showed up is the alternatives of class structure.
The traditional severe class structure of the South is broken by the war. Before the war, the plantation owners are at the top of the social hierarchy, superior to everyone – even their overseers and in turn are placed above the slaves. Slaves are of bottom hierarchy. The war, in which plantations are destroyed and slaves freed, weakens this hierarchy. Those who were high are brought low, and those who were low but have some valuable ability have the chance to rise in the new society.
The role of men and women in society also have a dramatic alternative. The pre-war South is a place of strict gender division. Certain roles were pointed to men and women, the men take charge of the plantation and the women are taught to attract rich men or be in charge of the household and the welfare of the slaves. The war occurs so that just the strongest and most adaptable can become the ones to make income, and sometimes these are women, not men any longer, such as Scarlett.
Though Scarlett is criticized by the Old Atlanta society for her “unwomanly” behavior in running her own businesses, the war is likely to make a woman break out of her traditional gender role – such a thing would have been silly previously. Scarlett begins to talk and work like a man, controls Tara, helps Ashley and his family out, and hires Ashley at her mill, all activities that are traditionally the role of the male. The change in Southerners is also represented in the loss love of Scarlett with Ashley.
Because Ashley typically represents the Old South, Scarlett’s loss of Ashley therefore reflects the South’s loss of its aristocratic customs. Rhett, who represents a new future for the South, is a new choice for Scarlett. Scarlett with her desire for more personal freedom than old custom lets her find herself struggling to choose between Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler, just as the southern civilization finds itself struggling to choose between its traditional culture and values of land and slave-driven agriculture, and the new northern way of life driven by the industrial economy and individual freedom.
Gone with the wind is the film and story about when the American South was swept away by the war. Through the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the whole process of being destroyed and reconstructed of the South was lively recreated in the most amazing way. It’s almost 80 years from the day it was first released but its influence still exists and also grows stronger. Gone with the Wind is definitely the eternal statue in the mind of fans all over the world despite the sand of time.
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Gone with the wind novel. (2015, Marc 31). Retrieved from wikipedia web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind
Margaret Mitchell : American Rebel. (2012, Marc 12). Retrieved from Pbs web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/margaret-mitchell-american-rebel/interview-with-margaret-mitchell-from-1936/2011/
Mitchell, M. (1936). In M. Margaret, Gone with the wind (p. 1037). Macmillan Publishers.
Ruff, D. K. (2004). Gone with the wind study guide. Retrieved from thebestnotes web site: http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/Gone_With_The_Wind/Gone_With_The_Wind01.html