Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind Essay

Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind Essay

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Margaret Mitchell’s epic tale is impossible to dissolve down to a “brief” description. Her story is the War and Peace of Southern Literature. It is a tale of extremes and contrasts, telling the tragic story of peaceful affluence destroyed by the ravages of war and the destitution and desolation of its aftermath. It is a love story that examines the motivations of the heart contrasted against the will to survive. It is a story of the destruction of an aristocratic society and its disintegration from nobility, honor and hope to humility, disgrace and despair. It is a historical novel and graphic retelling of the Civil War and the Reconstruction of the South as well as a journal of the human side of those events as it recounts the characters struggles to adapt as their lives and their world crumbles. Gone with the Wind is a literary classic that gives the reader a compelling history wrapped in a thrilling romance. Mitchell recreates an idyllic Antebellum Society complete with simpering Southern Belles and Noble Gentlemen, grand plantations and vast fields of cotton, privileged white land-owners contrasted against the poverty of captive black slaves. She details a horrific reenactment of the bloody clash between the Southern Rebels and the Northern Yankees, then like the Phoenix, she raises the South from its own ashes to a new, but very different way of life. Somehow in this rich and vibrant historical tale she manages to bring her equally rich and vibrant character’s lives along the same metaphorical path of affluence, destruction and survival in a mesmerizing account that is the stuff of legend.
Gone with the Wind’s protagonist is the head strong and stubborn Scarlett O’Hara. Miss Scarlett is the spoiled, fiery tempered daughte...


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...mentary, feminist undertones, the list goes on forever. To address the litany of social issues in the story would fill a book twice as long as the original work. Mitchell made her point on so many issues and themes with a timeless story that is entertaining on the surface with deep provoking moral dilemmas that bring an insider’s perspective to the antebellum south. For a Great-great-great granddaughter of the south, the story never loses its magic and romance, awakening some sleepy genetic affection for ruffles and lace, hooped skirts and petticoats. Mitchell’s tale brings meaning to our unique history as “Southerner’s” rousing a sense of Rebel pride and a dormant predisposition for lemonade and barbeque. It makes me look at white columns and fine china with new appreciation. It fosters an enduring hope for Scarlett and Rhett and all things Gone with the Wind.
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