Just another site

Gone with the Wind


Set in the backdrop of civil war, the novel is not about civil war but of the people who lived during that time. The novel deals with Scarlett O Hara and her relation with Rhett Butler, Ashley Wilkes and Melanie Wilkes.
The book presented a lot of challenges before I started it. When I first saw the book , I thought that it will take a hell lot of time to finish it. When I divided the task of completing the book into smaller tasks it became comparatively simpler. The book was 800 pages and forty pages a day will complete it in mere 20 days and hence the book can be completed within vacation time only and with two hours a day effort. The problem of time was solved, next was the problem of content. The backdrop of the book is civil war in America and though I like reading about wars but I have read war and peace (the characters were developed stunningly and loved it) but the war description there wore me out, for it was an alien geography to me and hence I was not able to visualize it. I was afraid the same should not happen again. Finally I started the novel and I have reached the point in novel where war is over and there was not much of war description so that way I found it pleasant. The characters are well sketched though they do not really sound like real life people to me as in they are extremes and have not really encountered the likes of them and could not connect to anyone of them. For e.g. I fail to understand the fuss about Rhett Butler because he is projected as an all knowing scallawag. Or maybe I am plain jealous of him for he could predict future, read minds (which he frequently did with Scarlett), was fiercely independent and courageous.
Scarlett O’Hara is an amusing character and though her actions during the desperate times can be understood but her actions during pleasant times is beyond me. Like for e.g. when Ashley turned her down, what on earth propelled her to marry Charles right away for I was turned down when I was 15 and even in that adolescence I do not run off to propose another girl. The concerned girl in my case wrote she hate me in every slam book she could get hold off (Heaven knows what I did to her to be at the receiving end of such rage) and Scarlett on the other hand could have taken comfort in the fact that the man did love her. Well of course mine is a different story altogether because Scarlett seem to get every man she want, I have a knack to repulse female company so much so that I am planning to write a book titled “What not to do in female company”. This book will be an autobiography of sorts but more about it later.
The character that really catches the eye is Melanie Wilkes and though her part is subdued and she may not seem like the heroine but she is courageous, intelligent, beautiful and most importantly compassionate. The style of writing is great too, the vivid description of the cities and Tara, Twelve Oaks, Atlanta etc makes it easier to understand and picture. The book though large seems to fall short of characters as there are only 3 or 4 main characters and the rest are playing unimportant roles. The events however are worthy of praise like the description of General Johnston retreat and the criticism that he faced from the public who knew little of war. It is the kind of treatment that we give to our cricketers after every series they lose be it the 20-20 world cup or a trivial tri series. Another analogy that comes to my mind is Naxal violence. People, who have never set foot on rural ground and have been ensconced in their comfortable city life, all of a sudden become experts. People with no experience whatsoever start to plan out strategies to counter naxalism while our inexperienced and foolish commanders get licked by the tribals!
Another incident that stands out is the love that Scarlett develops for Tara which her father predicts. Tara became a sanctuary of sorts for her, a place where she can turn to in case of any difficulty or trouble and derive strength to face the world. This is one book that you must read, though you might be intimidated by the size of it but believe me the juice is worth the squeeze.


Filed under: Book Review, , , , ,

7 Responses

  1. loserreturns says:

    That is one hefty novel yaaar…But have heard from many that it is worth th volume…

    PS: That way of yours of dividing the books into manageable tasks smells of managerial ability..Some NIce planning there!

  2. ravsworld says:

    This book has been a long time due for reading and evrytime I miss due to some procrastination on my part…
    Will surely read this time…after all the analogy of T20 and naxalism has really prompted me to go for it 🙂

  3. lifeanoxymoron says:

    I almost took a sabbatical from writing. You seem to have been doing great with your blog posts. Loved the book review. And yes it does take a lot of perserverance to finish this one. Good going 🙂

    • jaaliengineer says:

      @Blairwitch- I had my hiatus too but then started writing again..:)..Nice to see your post too…its been long..

  4. […] reviews Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. “Set in the backdrop of civil war, the novel is not about civil war but […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: