I am very emotionally attached to this book. I read it for the first time when I was 12 and will continue to read it at least once a year. I read somewhere that it is the only book ever written by Margaret Mitchell. I like to think it is written about her grandmother or other close relative as the characters are so fully developed.
I personally would recommend this book as required reading for a high school lit class. I understand the length would prevent most students from ever finishing. I would recommend it becasue the story and characters are so common and well known that it is aggravating to me to hear someone say, I know that story but I never read the book. I always recommend this book to someone who is separating or has broken from a former relationship. This is a story of love lost.
The setting is pre-civil War through Reconstruction. It is fiction but the settings and the descriptions could be non-fiction. The setting of Tara and Twelve Oaks, two plantations near Altlanta, gives such a different perspective to a war novel. This novel is about war, but it is written about the main character Scarlett. She not only has to fight her own personal war with her love life, but she also fights a war against the collapse of a world and life that she knows.
The story of Scarlett and her determination to love Ashley and his lust for her is timeless. As we follow Scarlett through her schemes and dreams of Ashley, the reader can see themselves in so many of Scarlett's traits. The reader cannot understand how she can hold on to a love for Ashley for so long without giving up. As she marries and is widowed and marries and is widowed, she continues to stay close to Ashely. Then she marries Rhett. She is perfectly capable of making her life with Rhett a success but is unwilling to let go of her dreams of Ashley.
This book is the best book I have ever read for character development. Each character is so richly developed and true to description. The characters are definatley based on real people as they are so true to life. The characters of the slaves are so beleivable and loveable. Scarlett is also so true to life that I found myself in her various times.
The only other book that I would rate better than this book is the Holy Bible.
The movie is a classic also as it was done in 1939. It could never be redone in modern times as the slaves and other characters would not have the depth that they did in that era. The movie is passable but again, if you have read the book, the movie is mostly an abridged version. Entertaining but missing so much of the story.
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