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Author Topic: Gone with the Wind  (Read 6021 times)
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benconstine
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« on: July 11, 2008, 08:54:12 pm »
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Has anyone else read this?  I just finished it, and enjoyed it a lot.
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Obama High's debate team:

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The Mikado
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2008, 09:36:36 pm »
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Never read it, gave up on the movie about an hour in.
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Einzige is a poltroon who cowardly turns down duel challenges he should be honor-bound to accept. The Code Duello authorizes you to mock and belittle such a pathetic honorless scoundrel.
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benconstine
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2008, 09:38:06 pm »
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Never read it, gave up on the movie about an hour in.

A friend of mine loves the book, and she kept bothering me to read it; then she complained I was taking too long Tongue
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Obama High's debate team:

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JohnFKennedy
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 01:44:21 pm »
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Influenced by The Klansman which is the basis for The Birth of a Nation.
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Warner for Senate '14
benconstine
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 01:54:46 pm »
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Influenced by The Klansman which is the basis for The Birth of a Nation.

Really, what proof do you have?
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Obama High's debate team:

"Now let me be clear...I...I...um...uh...now let me be clear.  I strongly condemn the affirmative in the strongest possible terms, and I am closely monitoring their arguments.  Let me be clear on this."
Sam Spade
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008, 02:02:49 pm »
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Influenced by The Klansman which is the basis for The Birth of a Nation.

Not really.
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JohnFKennedy
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2008, 06:45:35 pm »
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Care to elaborate Sam?

It is certainly true that Margaret Mitchell was an ardent fan of Thomas Dixon's and she wrote to him in August 1536 to tell him so: "I was practically raised on your books, and love them very much. For many years I have had you on my conscience, and I suppose I might as well confess it now." Equally, the racial stereotyping exhibited in Gone With the Wind is arguably similar to that of Dixon's works.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2008, 08:44:55 pm »
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Care to elaborate Sam?

It is certainly true that Margaret Mitchell was an ardent fan of Thomas Dixon's and she wrote to him in August 1536 to tell him so: "I was practically raised on your books, and love them very much. For many years I have had you on my conscience, and I suppose I might as well confess it now." Similarly the racial stereotyping exhibited in Gone With the Wind is arguably similar to that of Dixon's works.

You might want to amend your post.
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Einzige is a poltroon who cowardly turns down duel challenges he should be honor-bound to accept. The Code Duello authorizes you to mock and belittle such a pathetic honorless scoundrel.
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benconstine
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 12:08:43 pm »
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Care to elaborate Sam?

It is certainly true that Margaret Mitchell was an ardent fan of Thomas Dixon's and she wrote to him in August 1536 to tell him so: "I was practically raised on your books, and love them very much. For many years I have had you on my conscience, and I suppose I might as well confess it now." Equally, the racial stereotyping exhibited in Gone With the Wind is arguably similar to that of Dixon's works.

True, but in the book, she frequently condemns the Klan.
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JohnFKennedy
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 12:56:59 pm »
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Care to elaborate Sam?

It is certainly true that Margaret Mitchell was an ardent fan of Thomas Dixon's and she wrote to him in August 1536 to tell him so: "I was practically raised on your books, and love them very much. For many years I have had you on my conscience, and I suppose I might as well confess it now." Equally, the racial stereotyping exhibited in Gone With the Wind is arguably similar to that of Dixon's works.

True, but in the book, she frequently condemns the Klan.

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that Margaret Mitchell praised the Ku Klux Klan - I don't know enough on the matter to suggest that and I would imagine if she had done then the film would have been met with even more protests than it was - but that the representation of African-Americans in it were racially stereotypical and influenced by the works of white supremacists. I've also come across articles which suggest that Mitchell's depiction of Reconstruction is based upon Dixon's.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 06:54:59 pm »
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Care to elaborate Sam?

It is certainly true that Margaret Mitchell was an ardent fan of Thomas Dixon's and she wrote to him in August 1536 to tell him so: "I was practically raised on your books, and love them very much. For many years I have had you on my conscience, and I suppose I might as well confess it now." Equally, the racial stereotyping exhibited in Gone With the Wind is arguably similar to that of Dixon's works.

True, but in the book, she frequently condemns the Klan.

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that Margaret Mitchell praised the Ku Klux Klan - I don't know enough on the matter to suggest that and I would imagine if she had done then the film would have been met with even more protests than it was - but that the representation of African-Americans in it were racially stereotypical and influenced by the works of white supremacists. I've also come across articles which suggest that Mitchell's depiction of Reconstruction is based upon Dixon's.

The representations of black slaves within Mitchell's book, quite frankly, adhere to representations of black slaves common throughout American literature at that time, and certainly the movie version adheres to the representation of blacks in movies at that time.  Whether all those authors were white supremacists or not is your own opinion.

The reason why I said "not really" in my response to you is that while the Mitchell-to-Dixon letter shows influence on Mitchell by Dixon, that influence is basically found only within the last third of the book, and her admiration of Dixon (which was quite strong) definitely did not impact or influence the basic "feminist" thrust of the novel, or quite frankly, the first two-thirds of the novel (the before Reconstruction part), with the exception of what I mentioned above, which was quite common in writers of that time (heck, you see it in Faulkner too, to a much lesser extent).

The part of the book (it's in the movie too) you're undoubtedly referencing is where Scarlett drives through Shantytown, housed by all the poor black men, who attack her.  She is only saved, as I recall, by her former slave.  Then, the men want to get together and take it out on the blacks who attacked her, which of course, sounds quite similar to the infamous part of the Dixon novel.
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 06:38:53 pm »
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Actually the rendition of slavery put forth by the book is pretty true to the real life situation.
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Beet
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2008, 10:18:53 pm »

I read both this and Scarlett as a boy and enjoyed both. The novel is written to entertain, but it combines elements which when done well make for good fiction in general and which are also personal favorites- the historical grand sweep drama, taking the reader deep into what is essentially a foreign society, tragedy and revival, the coming of age tale. It combines both the intensely personal and the commanding heights of American history, doing each in a way that vividly entertains, irrespective of historical accuracy. And of course, it is famous. The focus on romantic relationships is more for the feminine taste, but intrigue among bachelors and wallflowers and maneuvering around the dinner party can be just as rich drama as the plottings of diplomats and the movements of armies, if one has an appreciation for the small (I assume most who are interested in politics already have an appreciation for the big). If the other elements of the novel (historical drama, exotic society, coming of age, tragedy, etc.) also stimulate you but you find the personal relationships are given too much space compared to potential political dramas, I would suggest Shogun, by James Clavell.

It was not until much later in life that I could see that a story centered on a strong female lead who finds instability and ultimate disappointment in her relationships with men but is forced to test herself against independence, and due to her strong personality succeeds in winning it (in contrast to the many weak, dependent men and women around her)- could be considered "feminist." And there may have been many other things in the novel that I am forgetting. I would not have patience for this novel today. But upon reflection, the frailty of Scarlett as a pampered southern woman was not only a necessary foil to her strong personality but essential in building up the dramatic precariousness of her situation; much as women are used today in horror movies (the difference being that Gone With the Wind is ultimately a vehicle for its protagonists, while horror movies are vehicles for the horror).

I have not read The Klansman, and there are certainly parallels between the films that derive from the two novels that are notable without any contextual knowledge of the relationship between Thomas Dixon and Margaret Mitchell. It seems that the discussions of racism and historical inaccuracy are most valuable as a check to the naive reader who might take the depictions presented in the novel as accurate of reality or unaffected by racism; which may be the case for people who are exposed to the novel without context. I did not think the novel was written to perpetuate a racist ideology, rather it accepted the basic racist framework of the time it was written in and is written about.
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2008, 10:31:45 pm »
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I tried to read it when I was in Middle School, but it was too difficult and I gave up.

I love the movie because its such a huge part of American Cinema, all those classic lines and scenes, etc. But I hated that scene where the black man and white carpetbagger were in a buggy being rude to the Southerners, and you can tell Mitchell/Selznick wants us to hate them. Well I don't, b/c carpetbaggers were not all bad, they protected the civil rights of the former slaves until 1877.
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2008, 04:22:08 pm »
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I read the book as a kid. It's the American epic. Gotta love that. Movie is awesome. Best dialogue ever and Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh worked so well together. Plus, mammy is great.
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2008, 04:58:42 pm »
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I read the book as a kid. It's the American epic. Gotta love that. Movie is awesome. Best dialogue ever and Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh worked so well together. Plus, mammy is great.

What's interesting about the movie is the accuracy of the clothing besides Scarlett. Many of the clothing (especially slave clothing) was original to the civil war period. I know many people who have studied that film closely in order to make more accurate reproductions.
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