Comparing Time of the Temptress and Gone With the Wind

Powerful Essays
Comparing Time of the Temptress and Gone With the Wind

In the Harlequin romance Time of the Temptress, by Violet Winspear, the author seems to be trying to write an intelligent story of romance, bettered by its literary self-awareness. She fails on both counts. Winspear appears to recognize that more valued literature tends to involve symbolism and allusions to other works. It seems she is trying to use archetypes and allusions in her own novel, but her references to alternate literature and culture are embarrassingly obvious and awkward. Another inter-literary connection, though, is more difficult to notice unless the book is pondered -- something the typical romance reader is not likely to do. Although Winspear attempts to give her book literary value by tying it to Gone With the Wind, because of the limitations of her chosen genre, and her own apparent inabilities as a writer, she cannot grasp the depth that makes Gone With the Wind a highly regarded romance work.

The first clue to the correlation of the novels is given through the name of the Time of the Temptress character Wade O'Mara. The name does not flow very well. When the last name is considered, it seems familiar. Almost anyone can recognize O'Hara as the last name of Gone With the Wind's heroine, Scarlett. What many do not know, as this bit of her life was cut out of the movie version, is that Scarlett had a son named Wade. Scarlett's son Wade's last name was not O'Hara, but the name "Wade O'Mara" is obviously a play on the names of Margaret Mitchell's richly developed characters. That Wade O'Mara has a cousin and a son with the last name of Mitchell further indicates the connection to Gone With the Wind.

This is t...

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...ief novel. It is as though she tried to rewrite the story, with the same characters in a different situation, and with a happy ending.

Winspear would have been better off if she had been comfortable enough with her Harlequin romance novel writing to accept that the genre does not require literary value. Instead she tries to enhance her book by throwing in absurd associations with movies, archetypes, and Gone With the Wind, which make her writing seem cheap, and overly and awkwardly self-conscious.

Works Cited

Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936.

Winspear, Violet. Time of the Temptress. Toronto: Harlequin Books, 1978.

Woodruff, Juliette. "A Spate of Words, Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing: Or, How to Read a Harlequin." Journal of Popular Culture 19.2 (1985): 25-32.
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