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Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind (original 1936; edition 2007)

by Margaret Mitchell, Pat Conroy (Preface)

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15,971336111 (4.33)1005
Title:Gone with the Wind
Authors:Margaret Mitchell
Other authors:Pat Conroy (Preface)
Info:Scribner (2007), Edition: 1st Scribner Trade Pbk. Ed, Paperback, 960 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Pulitzer Prize, 20th Century

Work details

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)

  1. 60
    The Wind Done Gone: A Novel by Alice Randall (lquilter, petersonvl)
    lquilter: This work was rewritten to tell the other side of Gone With the Wind, the story that Mitchell elided with her romanticized view of racism and slavery and its "happier when they were slaves" survivors. The Mitchell estate chose to sue for copyright infringement, but lost because the court recognized that this work is an important critical commentary on Gone with the Wind, and the beliefs that animated the original.… (more)
  2. 60
    Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: They are both scandalous women. It’s a love hate relationship.
  3. 30
    Jubilee by Margaret Walker (lquilter)
    lquilter: Jubilee is the true story of the author's great grandmother, a woman born to slavery as the daughter of a slave and a white slave-owner. She acted as servant to her white sister, and was a witness to antebellum life, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
  4. 20
    Oh, Kentucky! by Betty Layman Receveur (blonderedhead)
    blonderedhead: Strong female heroine in a sweeping, romantic and exciting historical fiction novel. I loved both books...and think others might, too.
  5. 10
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: melodrama in the midst of war and the invasion (and burning!) of a major city
  6. 10
    The Wind Is Never Gone: Sequels, Parodies and Rewritings of Gone with the Wind by M. Carmen Gomez-galisteo (Prinzipessa, Prinzipessa)
    Prinzipessa: This book explains Gone with the Wind and analyzes its sequels, parodies as well as the fan fiction stories based on Gone With the Wind.
  7. 10
    The Legacy by Katherine Webb (tesskrose)
  8. 21
    A Skeptic's Luck by A.D. Morel (A.D.Morel)
    A.D.Morel: There's this feeling of longing, that she will not quite get there, yet we are passionately rooting for the main character, we go through her travails with her.
  9. 00
    The Winds of Tara: The Saga Lives On by Katherine Pinotti (veracity)
    veracity: 'Winds of Tara' is an unauthorised sequel to 'Gone with the Wind'.
  10. 00
    Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson (theshadowknows)
    theshadowknows: These books share a similar epic, sweeping feel in bringing to life a lost and fading ideal (the American frontier in Heart of the West and the old, genteel south in Gone with the Wind.)
  11. 22
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (StarryNightElf)
  12. 12
    My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  13. 12
    Katherine by Anya Seton (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Its about having to deal with a very strong, charismatic man. *Sigh*
  14. 13
    Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig (mrstreme)
  15. 58
    Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind by Alexandra Ripley (Nyxn)
1930s (49)

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Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
This is one of the finest pieces of modern American literature ever written. I don't think that books get any better than this. Highly recommended. The book is much better than the movie, although the movie is one of the best ever made. But, the book gives insights into the characters that the movie cannot. This is my single favorite book of all time! ( )
  AveryBGoodman | May 24, 2016 |
What on earth am I supposed to do with this book?

On the one hand, the writing is often terrific. Some of the characters – Scarlett and Rhett, at least – are fully realized and complex, and admirable in their unlikeableness. A fictional character who isn't likeable, isn't meant to be likeable, and still ends up someone a reader is willing to spend time with – that's rare. (Wait, Scarlett, that's your sister's … never mind.) One of the in its way most chilling moments I've ever read or listened to in a while was the scene in which Scarlett manipulates Melanie into taking her side against Ashley – and, sobbing on Melanie's shoulder, peeks out at Ashley with a gleam of smug triumph through the crocodile tears. The woman is all but a sociopath.

On the other hand, not all the writing is terrific. The repetition – especially of Scarlett's triad obsessions of Tara, Ashley, and Money being hammered home (and hammered home, and hammered home – became deeply annoying. ("As God is my witness, if Scarlett has another internal monologue about Tara, Ashley, or Money, I will rage–quit.") "Scarlett heard over and over until she could have screamed..." I know the feeling.

And not all the characters are so well–drawn. Melanie has moments – her reaction to the fate of the Yankee soldier, for one – and seeing her through the filter Scarlett's loathing is fascinating. Even Ashley has some interest. I despise him heartily – which is kind of fun, in the same way that disliking Scarlett is – but he's not what I expected. He's certainly not what Scarlett thinks he is – or, if he is, that doesn't mean he's a great guy. He is an exemplar of his type… but his type is effete, weak, unprepared to deal with the real world. He is the very picture of the ivory tower aesthete. But he is a self–aware worthless twit; he saw the crash of his ivory tower coming, and he tried to be useful once it was in rubble … and failed. I could have some respect for him for the self–awareness. But – and this made me literally gasp in shock when I heard it … well, here's the quote: "…I saw my boyhood friends blown to bits and heard dying horses scream and learned the sickeningly horrible feeling of seeing men crumple up and spit blood when I shot them. But those weren't the worst things about the war, Scarlett. The worst thing about the war was the people I had to live with. I had sheltered myself from people all my life, I had carefully selected my few friends. But the war taught me I had created a world of my own with dream people in it. It taught me what people really are, but it didn't teach me how to live with them. And I'm afraid I'll never learn."

I really wanted to see him crumple up and spit blood right about then.

"Then, what do you want?"
"…Mostly to be left alone, not to be harried by people I don't like, driven to do things I don't want to do."

Damn coward.

And, of course, this is a book about a … "racist" doesn't quite cut it. I'll add modifiers. Rabidly racist? Virulently racist? Deep–dyed and unabashedly racist? All of those …About a period of time in which what is seen now as rabid, virulent, abhorrent racism was … the way things were. . I hardly need to point out again how blacks, slaves, are nearly always referred to in terms that reduce them to the level of either children or animals, literally hard to listen to for 21st century ears. GWTW was written in a time in which the wounds of Reconstruction were still healing, when there were still a small number of people living who could remember the time. Presumably through rosy hindsight. Do I want this book to be "cleaned up"? Absolutely not. That's the dilemma … I hate big swaths of this thing, but how could it be what it is without them?

It's impossible to talk about this book without acknowledging that the author's conception of slavery is ... remarkable. In her world, and apparently the world of the Antebellum South, blacks were so, so much better off being looked after by their owners, relieved of the trouble of having to figure out what to do on their own, fed and clothed and – sometimes, sort of – educated and so on by their beloved white folks. And I fully acknowledge that, bizarre as it feels to write it, I'm sure there were not a few plantations where even the least valued slave led a more comfortable and secure life than a poor free person of whatever color, where those owned did not have to fear a Simon Legree–esque owner. (Of course, they had plenty more to fear.) It's sort of along the same lines as a con in prison today gets "three hots and a cot", which is better than being on the street. On the one hand, I tend to doubt Jefferson brutalized his slaves; on the other hand, how much choice did Sally Hemings have in what happened to her? I'm thinking too about ancient Rome, where slavery was even more prevalent, and where a slave could hold a position of trust and even power. Or could be killed out of hand, of course, and the worst that would befall the killer, as long as he was the owner, might be a little public censure at overreaction. There's slavery, and then there's slavery. But it doesn't really matter how kind it is – it's still a negation of rights, of freedom, and of humanity.

Scarlett and Big Sam, characters at polar opposites of the social spectrum (every spectrum), both have the same contemptuous observation of Yankees, particularly Yankee women: they are avidly, morbidly curious about the bloodhounds used to hunt slaves, about the beatings the slaves were given. And these two examples of the highest and the lowest in the South are disgusted – because God's nightgown, they never needed to use any kind of force against the darkies! They know when they're well off, and why would they ever run away?

Slave(s) – 15
Negro – 38
Nigger – 22
Darky – 16
Darkies – 41

Also as in Rome, the contrast between owned and owners is painful. Also as in Rome, the contrast between owned and owners is painful. After emancipation, this is a line about the behavior of former slaves: "Dazzled by these tales, freedom became a never–ending picnic, a barbecue every day of the week, a carnival of idleness and theft and insolence." This sentence apparently carries no whiff of irony, even given the long first pre–war section of the book, when Scarlett's life – the life of every white person of distinction in the South – was a never–ending picnic, a barbecue quite a few days of the week, a carnival of idleness and ownership of other human beings and arrogance. And insolence.

"Only the Negroes had rights or redress these days. ... The South had been tilted, as by a giant, malicious hand, and those who had once ruled were now more helpless than their former slaves had ever been." – How did the narrator speak that line without bursting into flames? Yes, if this account is anything like true (or, say, within the universe of this account), the former lords of the earth were harshly treated. But ... More helpless? How clueless could the author be? However dire Scarlett's straits might become, she would never have to fear being irreversibly, unwillingly, and if necessary violently separated from Wade Hamilton by being sold up the river, or seeing him likewise. (And so much more…) Not, of course, that such an eventuality would have caused her the grief that Dulcie would have experienced had Gerald not – soft–heartedly – bought Prissy along with her. (Now, there's a point: how is Scarlett a more valid human being than Dulcie when the latter shows far more care for her child than Scarlett ever could or would? I kept forgetting Scarlett even had a son – and so did she.)

There is also, since this was an audiobook, the issue of the narration. It's mostly very good – the individual characters' voices worked beautifully, and there was little confusion. But the reader has a trick of reading some lines – such as moments relating to Scarlett being petulant or unhappy, but not all – in a voice which reminded me of nothing so much as Shirley Temple.

I'll give Ms. Mitchell this: this book makes me want to follow up with more about Reconstruction, from both sides of the Mason–Dixon line.

It's a big, sometimes sordid, sprawling soap opera. And I'm not sure I've ever seen such a fascinatingly repulsive point of view. Scarlett is an ignorant and whole–heartedly self–centered stupid little bitch, and I have to hand it to Mitchell: she did a staggeringly impressive job of character development and historical story–telling through the Scarlett lens. (To clarify: Scarlett's character developed very little, but it is through her unique perspective that others' character and growth are charted.)

How could the South think that it would be a matter of "welp, we lost. At least we tried" and back to business as usual? And how could they think that even those who were once the very bottom rung of the social ladder wouldn't cut loose once catapulted a ways up that ladder?

I never thought I'd sit through a defense of the KKK. GWTW is one of those books one kind of feels obligated to read. So I did. I'm not sorry. But (one more time) as God is my witness, I'll never read Mitchell again. ( )
1 vote Stewartry | May 20, 2016 |
This novel definitely stands the test of time, still as good as it was when I read it over 20 years ago. A great romance combined with great historical detail. Rhett Butler is still my favorite character, brilliant, sarcastic, flippant. So many people do not read this because of the movie, but the movie is a pale imitation. Please Read It! You won't regret it. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
An incredible encapsulation of the people, culture, and events of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction years in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Centers around the life of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a genteel and lovely French mother and a first-generation Irish immigrant father, who made his fortune and built a life and a beautiful plantation named "Tara". We see their bucolic life before the War, which had a foundation built on the backs of their 100+ slaves. We see into their life, and how they viewed it, and how, when that foundation crumbled as a result of the War, we watch this family and their neighbors survive (or not) the difficulties they now have to face on their own.

There are a lot of moments, of course, that make a person cringe as you read this book: the way their slaves are viewed as children or how they have "child-like minds", disturbing references to their race which don't need to be repeated here, derogatory terminology, etc. We don't witness any beatings or auctions or anything like what is represented in other literature of this time period, but we do witness the fashion in which the whites treat their slaves--even those they truly love and consider part of their family--in a haughty, entitled manner. Those things are hard to read, but it seems that this is an accurate time capsule of how people viewed their world and those in it--in that time period. Even during the Reconstruction years when the Yankees were in Atlanta fighting for equal rights for the freed slaves, a lot of them seemed to hold their own dim views of the former slaves, even when trying to punish the Confederates by confiscating their property, their money, their right to vote and hold government office, etc.

The impression left is that they put illiterate former slaves in high positions but then the Yankees used them as puppets to vote the way they wanted (to favor the Republicans/Yankees) and to quiet or completely remove the voice of the Democrats/Confederates. There also was a lot of rampant crime by understandably insolent and angry freed slaves who wanted to get back at the whites. They were able to get away with these crimes because of new laws stating that whites could not charge the ex-slaves with any crimes. It appears that this complete flip-flop in society's rules is what caused the formation of secret meetings between former Confederate soldiers which evolved into the Ku Klux Klan in 1865. There was a lot of "justice" served in the darkness of night by both whites and blacks.

This story is considered an epic romance. It is definitely an epic. The romance part is questionable. It is definitely a story of a dysfunctional kind of love. It is based on a young girl's selfish and cold-hearted method of obtaining whatever she wants, often to the detriment of others. It is a story of stolen, lost, or unrequited love. This story brings out many emotions, although with very little happiness: contempt, guilt, sadness, disbelief, frustration, anger, disappointment, shock, and grief. No matter how malicious some people can be, it is still hard to witness when they themselves have to face the terrible deeds they have done.

This, of course, is a book not to be missed. Highly recommended. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Apr 29, 2016 |
This was on my classic to reread list and southern literary journey list. I read this many years ago and have seen the movie many times. The movie is a classic and is worth seeing excellent casting. The book is so much better and a much larger story.

It is hard to put into words the epic nature of this novel. Written in the 1930's during the depression with the wounds of reconstruction still fresh in the minds of many.

Scarlett is a character you could just choke at times then in another moment feel a deep sympathy for her plight. Rhett is more than a cad he is mocking the fake gentility of the south and doing whats best for Rhett. Melanie is the strongest of the bunch knowing her husband is desired by Scarlett she still see fit to be friends and care more for her than for her own self.

After reading the novel for my 2nd or 3rd time I did some research on Mitchell. She secretly worked with an all black college to build a medical school and then continued with scholarships for young african americans to be able to attend the college. More information can be found on this through the Mitchell Museum in Atlanta. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
An old fashioned, romantic narrative with no Joycean or Proustian nonsense about it, the novel is written in a methodical style which fastidious readers may find wearying. But so carefully does Author Mitchell build up her central character of Scarlett O'Hara, and her picture of the times in which that wild woman struggled, that artistic lapses seem scarcely more consequential than Scarlett's many falls from grace.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jul 6, 1936)
This is beyond a doubt one of the most remarkable first novels produced by an American writer. It is also one of the best.
The historical background is the chief virtue of the book, and it is the story of the times rather than the unconvincing and somewhat absurd plot that gives Miss Mitchell's work whatever importance may be attached to it.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Ralph Thompson (pay site) (Jun 30, 1936)

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mitchell, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auterinen, MaijaliisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beheim-Schwarzbach, MartinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ein Mensch ist in seinem Leben wie Gras/er blühet wie eine Blume auf dem Felde;/wenn der Wind darüber geht, so ist sie nimmer da,/ und ihre Stätte kennet sie nicht mehr. Psalm 103
To J. R. M.
First words
Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm, as the Tarleton twins were.
As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again. (Scarlett)
I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies. (Prissy)
After all, tomorrow is another day.
My dear, I don't give a damn.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work is for Margaret Mitchell's original 1936 novel, Gone with the Wind. Please distinguish it both from partial copies of the work (one or another volume from a 2, 3 or 4-volume set) and from the 1939 movie version of the same name. Thank you.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Set in Georgia at the time of the Civil War, this is the story of headstrong Scarlett O'Hara, her three marriages and her determination to keep her father's property of Tara, despite the vicissitudes of war and passion.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 068483068X, Hardcover)

An anniversary edition of Margaret Mitchell's timeless classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

An epic story of the South's fight to maintain its way of life during the Civil War years. Scarlett O'Hara and her family are amongst the ladies and gentlemen at the Twelve Oaks Plantation's ball before the Civil War begins. Scarlett's love for one man keeps her from seeing the love that another man truly has for her. As the South finally crumbles around her, Scarlett devises a way to overcome starvation in order to save herself and her family.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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