A glimpse of one of my most cherished books – Gone with the wind.
“After all, to-morrow is another day.” are the words of Scarlett O’ Hara in the famous book Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. These words have etched themselves in my spirit. Many times in life one experiences incidents that seem unjust and very incorrect. They seem to shake our belief in the system that exists and the world itself. It is then that I say to myself that “Tomorrow is another day” and keep the indomitable spirit alive.
The first time I read this book, it became my instant favourite. The central characters in this book are those that I have always adored. It is primarily because I can see glimpses of myself in them, mirroring my thoughts and my spirit.
The beautiful Scarlett O’ Hara is the perfect heroine. Through the pages, one tends to love her, hate her, adore her and detest her. Born to an Irish father and mother who was a Coast aristocrat of French descent, the eldest of the three daughters, Scarlett is a mixture of her mother’s genteel looks and an Irish temper. Story set in the backdrop of the American Civil War, the book reveals a lot about the lives of Southern people in those times. The customs and traditions of the days bound Scarlett to be prim and proper but her real self is reflected in these lines: “The green eyes in the carefully sweet face were turbulent, willful, lusty with life, distinctly at variance with her decorous demeanour.” This willful nature has most appealed to me.
During the Civil war, Scarlett is thrown into a situation where she has look after her family in every which way. She is a mother, widow and now a caretaker and provider all at nineteen. From the cushy existence of less than few months she is now in a situation where she does not know where the next meal can be got for her family.
Her character displays an innate sense of practicality and objectivity. There are umpteen examples when she tells herself “I’ll think about this later – Yes, later when I can stand it.” By thinking so, Scarlett is compartmentalizing her thoughts. She is trying to concentrate her energies towards more pressing concerns and is analyzing the best possible solution given the circumstances. Though some of her tactics may have seemed to have been carried out without ethics, but in the given circumstances she acted upon them objectively. One striking example is when Scarlett, in her effort to save her home, Tara, finally hits upon the idea of marrying her sister’s beau when all other measures have failed. It is highly unethical thing to do. But, she realizes that if her sister had got married, as was planned, Tara could never be saved.
Hence, she takes the drastic step to marry a second time, without any concern to her feelings. From the time she marries, her primary motive is to save her home, Tara which she eventually succeeds. Coming to the protagonist of this plot, Rhett Butler, he is the most charming and outspoken character that can be described. As the story progresses one understands that this character believes in himself and most importantly can stand for his views. It is exactly for this reason that he is considered an ill-bred person by the people around him. Many instances of the same can be observed. For instance, when he openly expresses his views about how the Southerners have only “cotton and arrogance” to fight the Yankees and tells the rest to take stock of the situation before it is too late. He is able to face the truth and most importantly has the courage to express the truth in clear cut terms to all.
The central theme of this book revolves around land and this is woven intrinsically into the story. The Southerner’s pride in his cotton or the courage to fight the Yankees till the very end, all of it shows how important land is. Scarlett values her mother and on par red hills of Tara, her home and estate. Margaret Mitchell has shown the love and affection towards one’s motherland in a very poignant fashion.