Thursday, 21 July 2016

''Gone with the Wind''- Book Review

Author: Margaret Mitchell
Published: 1936

Gienre: Historical fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5


Its hard for me to write this review. It actually is. To express my feelings on this novel. To express how powerful this novel is. To express how heartbreaking it is. To express the myriad of emotions I went through while reading it. I finished reading it just a few minutes ago and wanted to wait for a while before I would write this review, but I couldn't. I feel like expressing all the things I feel about this novel, all the powerful emotions I experienced reading this novel, right now. 

''Gone with the Wind'' is the story of Scarlett O'Hara and set in the Old American South, starting a few days before the American Civil War. Scarlett is the pampered daughter of Gerald O'Hara, the owner of Tara, a huge cotton plantation, and lives a sheltered life, a privileged, carefree life. Scarlett has admirers and ''beaux'', but loves Ashley Wilkes, a neighbor, only to discover that Ashley has made his made up his mind to marry Melanie Hamilton, his cousin, who is like him in tastes, gentle and refined, unlike the wild, coquettish Scarlett. This breaks Scarlett's heart, but being embittered, she makes up her mind to marry Melanie's brother Charles, mostly because she wants to make Ashley jealous. However, immediately after all these, the Civil War starts, and all the young men she knows have to go to the war. The war, however, devastates their lives, devastates their lifestyle. Very soon, everything is shattered, not just their old dreams, but also their old lifestyles, their civilization. Scarlett, the sheltered daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, has to make her way through the clutches of poverty, a girl who never had to get her hands dirty has to work in the fields to ensure food for herself and those she loves. This is the story of Scarlett O'Hara, of her plights and the people she loves and the things she loves and the lengths that she can go to achieve what she wants. This is the story of Scarlett O'Hara who faces defeat and endures only to hold her head high once again.

''Gone with the Wind'' is an intensely powerful novel. This is a novel that spans several years and introduces us to many, many characters. This is not just the story of Scarlett O'Hara but also that of the people around her, the places she knows and lives in. There is so much depth in it all. The most remarkable thing about the novel is the character development. These characters are so richly development, they have so much depth. Scarlett O'Hara is a character I often disapproved of. She is a character that can often be annoying and irritating. She is a character that I often found stupid. But at the same time, I applauded her when she triumphed, I felt sympathy for her when she was cornered by those around her. I appreciated her when she- though rarely- developed warm feelings for those around. It took me around two weeks to finish reading this huge novel, but by the time I finished reading the novel, I had grown so attached to her, I knew her thoroughly and had followed her through her journeys and her trials and tribulations. She is a flawed protagonist, often an anti-heroine, yet she is so human, she is such an excellently developed character. 

There are many, many other characters. One of my favorite characters- if not my very favorite- is definitely Melanie. She is such a wonderful person, a person who always tries to find the best in everyone. And I loved the way friendship- a deep, deep friendship- is developed between Scarlett and Melanie. No matter how much Scarlett thought she disliked Melanie. Then there are characters like Rhett, Mammy, Ashley, Aunt Pittypat, Will, Uncle Peter, Gerald, Grandma Fontaine- and many other excellently developed characters.

I know I am returning to the topic of Scarlett once again but I am doing it because I need to. She is such a richly developed character, she indeed is. And the way she has to go through her trials and tribulations, her struggle to survive in a world greatly changed- and the way she took care of everybody around her in the hard, hard times. I know she can be annoying. I know she can stupid. Even disgusting at times. But she is a human being. Sh experienced so, so many things. Margaret Mitchell makes sure that we get an inner view of Scarlett's heart, and the deep human emotions and feelings- whether good or bad- she goes through throughout the novel- is described with so much depth! 

This is a story of love and hate and misunderstanding and stupidity and devastation and most importantly, human nature and human emotions. The book moved me and touched me in a hundred different ways with its depth. 

5 out of 5

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