I can’t remember how many times now I have read this book already, yet I always do it with pleasure and I am always captivated to read it till late hours in the night, like the first time.
In the beginning Scarlett was my favourite and I found it easy to identify with her. Perky, strong-headed, strong will, maybe superficial in her flirtations, a girl who grew from the innocent dreams and vanity of the adolescence, forced to mature in a chaotic world where all the values and social panorama dramatically change. Not a role model, as somebody else said, but hey, so human and realistic – a teenager who grew in her ivory tower, protected by her family's status and her family’s possessions, left alone to find means to survive for her and her family, throwing away most of her values, still hanging on to some: helping family, keeping her word, never allowing herself to be beaten. A warrior and a survivor.
As years went by, I started to be attracted by Melanie. It was as if coming out from the shadow, pale and quiet Melly started to outshine glamorous Scarlett. In her apparent fragility, Melanie is stronger than a blade, always sweet and compassionate, always seeing the good in others, always ready to help and sacrifice. Like Scarlet recognized, Melly had a courage of a different nature. And if you think about it, it’s harder to stay calm, sweet and truly compassionate in the midst of disaster and loss, sharing with others when there is so little for yourself and your family and keeping your faith. Fragile and silent as she is, she restructures the whole Atlanta’s old society around her, she is loved and respected by everybody and her opinions matter enough to protect Scarlet – now THAT is really power. Spiritual power? Maybe so, for in its modesty, it rules, guides and gives stability to everybody.
A wonderful lecture, enriching and captivating.
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