Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Gone With The Wind (column by George Will)
Townhall.com ^ | June 25, 2006 | George Will

Posted on 06/25/2006 9:55:57 AM PDT by EveningStar

Confined to her bed in Atlanta by a broken ankle and arthritis, she was given a stack of blank paper by her husband, who said, "Write a book." Did she ever.

The novel's first title became its last words, "Tomorrow is another day," and at first she named the protagonist Pansy. But Pansy became Scarlett, and the title of the book published 70 years ago this week became "Gone With the Wind."

You might think that John Steinbeck, not Margaret Mitchell, was the emblematic novelist of the 1930s, and that the publishing event in American fiction in that difficult decade was his "Grapes of Wrath." Published in 1939, it captured the Depression experience that many Americans had, and that many more lived in fear of. Steinbeck's novel became a great movie, and by now 14 million copies of the book have been sold...

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: books; civilwar; dixie; franklyscarlett; georgefwill; georgewill; gonewiththewind; gwtw; history; literature; margaretmitchell; nostalgia; novels; robertelee; slavery; thesouth; wbts
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-189 next last

1 posted on 06/25/2006 9:56:00 AM PDT by EveningStar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner


2 posted on 06/25/2006 10:00:33 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

Great Post!
~ thanks ~


3 posted on 06/25/2006 10:05:12 AM PDT by b9 ("the [evil Marxist liberal socialist Democrat Party] alternative is unthinkable" ~ Jim Robinson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

A wonderful, amazing book. I did not read GWTW until just a few years ago and I had probably seen the move 30 times. What a revelation! It truly is the Great American Novel, and none better has yet been written. Margaret Mitchell captured the spirit of the American woman better than any modern feminist possibly could. If you have never read it, do yourself a favor and read it!!!


4 posted on 06/25/2006 10:05:53 AM PDT by Dems_R_Losers (Meet the new dictatorship of America.....James Risen, Eric Lichtblau, and Dana Priest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howlin; onyx; Clemenza; Petronski; GummyIII; SevenofNine; martin_fierro; veronica; EggsAckley; ...

ping


5 posted on 06/25/2006 10:12:03 AM PDT by EveningStar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

Too bad George Will cannot be "Gone with the Wind."


6 posted on 06/25/2006 10:12:58 AM PDT by conservative blonde (Conservative Blonde)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar
I am not going to dispute the fact the novel was impactful and well written. However.....between this and his stance on Iraq, has George Will been neutered?
7 posted on 06/25/2006 10:14:08 AM PDT by edpc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar
As a matter of policy I do not read anything by George (the former conservative and now Disney sellout) Will. As a result I lead a richer, fuller life.
8 posted on 06/25/2006 10:15:03 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers
Margaret Mitchell captured the spirit of the American woman ...

Margaret Mitchell captured the spirit of the Southern woman ... a breed apart from the American woman ... was then and is now.

9 posted on 06/25/2006 10:15:03 AM PDT by caryatid (Jolie Blonde, 'gardez donc, quoi t'as fait ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers

The movie was wonderful of course, but like any film it condensed some minor story lines and characters.

I agree, reading the book is a great experience.


10 posted on 06/25/2006 10:18:48 AM PDT by Fudd Fan (Help get Murtha out of Congress- donate at http://www.irey.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers

GWTW is the best bad novel ever written nothing more though it is a fun read. I read it two years ago. No American novel is better than Moby Dick.


11 posted on 06/25/2006 10:19:59 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

Having seen the movie countless times, I finally bought the book and read it on vacation one Summer. I think I may read it again this vacation. This post reminded me what a good read it was. So much to read and vacation is so short - I tend to re-read books I know are good - hate to waste good reading time on a bad book!

To Kill a Mockingbird stays on my bedside table - it's a well worn favorite.


12 posted on 06/25/2006 10:22:19 AM PDT by likelyvoter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: conservative blonde

bet your freepmail box stays pretty full with a screenname like that.


13 posted on 06/25/2006 10:27:29 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (orwell's watching)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: InterceptPoint

OK, I must have been sleeping during this past year...what happened to Will? Why is everyone mad at him?


14 posted on 06/25/2006 10:29:57 AM PDT by Hildy (Change calls the tune we dance to.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers

Gosh, I've never read it; never considered it, but now I might put it on my summer reading list.


15 posted on 06/25/2006 10:34:30 AM PDT by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Howlin

It is a little above an ordinary potboiler but fun nonetheless. Great literature? Not even close.


16 posted on 06/25/2006 10:35:48 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: justshutupandtakeit

I'm not looking for "great literature" in the summer, are you? :-)


17 posted on 06/25/2006 10:42:49 AM PDT by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

Gone With The Wind is a classic literary masterpiece, and parents should make their children watch it so they get an accurate portrayal of American history. Along with Gods and Generals, one of the best historical movies of all time.


18 posted on 06/25/2006 10:43:49 AM PDT by AzaleaCity5691 (6-6-06 A victory for reason)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers

It truly is the Great American Novel, and none better has yet been written. Margaret Mitchell captured the spirit of the American woman better than any modern feminist possibly could.

***
No, it was not Great. A good story with interesting character development but not great.

As for capturing the spirit of the American woman, I hope that you don't see the grasping, conniving Scarlett as the archetypal American woman.


19 posted on 06/25/2006 10:47:14 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: justshutupandtakeit
It is a little above an ordinary potboiler but fun nonetheless. Great literature? Not even close.

My mother gave me GWTW to read the summer after fourth grade. She wisely told me that GWTW is the kind of book that is fun to read and very emotional. It is the kind of book one should read interspersed between other more serious books ... and that way, the fun one is more fun and the serious ones have more meaning.

Great literature? Certainly not ... more like an earlier version of popular culture ... but still well worth the reading.


20 posted on 06/25/2006 10:47:37 AM PDT by caryatid (Jolie Blonde, 'gardez donc, quoi t'as fait ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers
This passage struck me.

"Not trust a darky! Scarlett trusted them far more than most white people. ... They still stuck with their white folks and worked much harder than they ever worked in slave times."

In both the book and the movie, the character Mammy had more sense than all the white characters combined. She spoke more for the social traditions of the South than anyone else.

21 posted on 06/25/2006 10:48:49 AM PDT by Publius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Bigg Red
As for capturing the spirit of the American woman, I hope that you don't see the grasping, conniving Scarlett as the archetypal American woman.

Actually, yes, Scarlett epitomizes the spirit of the American woman ain the early 21st century. She was a feminist before that term had even been dreamed up.

More than any other character in the book, Scarlett O'Hara is relevant to today's world. How many Melanie's do you see on the scene today?


22 posted on 06/25/2006 10:50:46 AM PDT by caryatid (Jolie Blonde, 'gardez donc, quoi t'as fait ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: caryatid

It's not that well-written but the story line and the characters are unmatched by anything, short of the novels of Charles Dickens.

Who can forget red-headed Will the foreman, or the Slatterys, or Aunt Pittypat, or Dilsey, not to mention Mammy, Pork, Suellen --- how many minor characters are there? And they all fit and they are all believable.

And the writing is awful.


23 posted on 06/25/2006 10:55:17 AM PDT by squarebarb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar
I generally don't bother reading anything that George Will writes, but the subject matter got my attention here.

Discussions of whether GWTW is "great literature" are pointless - a matter simply in the eye of the beholder. The real test is whether it survives and once opened is read from cover to cover. It passes that test.

24 posted on 06/25/2006 10:56:53 AM PDT by Malesherbes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: justshutupandtakeit
William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust is one the best novels I've ever read.
25 posted on 06/25/2006 10:59:22 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Publius
In both the book and the movie, the character Mammy had more sense than all the white characters combined. She spoke more for the social traditions of the South than anyone else.

Not everyone in the South treated their slaves [and then former slaves] well; however, in my research, I have found countless examples where freed slaves chose not to leave their former owners or the plantations on which they lived. Others left but found really hard times ahead of them.

One very telling example is a story related to me recently by a 94 year old friend:

She was working for the local doctor in this rural county when a very elderly black man came in one day, with his hat in his hand, and said, "Excuse me, Miss, but they tell me you are Miss Austinia's granddaughter". She replied, "Yes, I am." He then told her, "We went North after the War. We were terribly poor and there was no work. If Miss Austinia had not taught me how to read, I never would have made it ...".

In this state, and probably in others as well, it was against the law to teach blacks to read. Schools were conducted on many plantations and children from surrounding farms were educated there. In any number of cases I have run across, black children were taught to read as well.

The South is much maligned and unrightly so. Slavery would have died a natural death as it had become un-economical in an increasingly industrial age. The history of this country was forever changed, and not for the better, by the deaths in the Civil War of a generation of the best young men ... South and North.


26 posted on 06/25/2006 11:06:00 AM PDT by caryatid (Jolie Blonde, 'gardez donc, quoi t'as fait ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: InterceptPoint

Yeah. Will and Gergen are typical of "conservatives" the liberal media puts on tv. Like David Brooks, they are house conservatives whose job it is to show the rest of the world that conservative opinion is honored; when in fact it's dismissed from the gitgo.


27 posted on 06/25/2006 11:13:38 AM PDT by kjo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar; AnAmericanMother

My Grandmother was a friend of Margaret Mitchell's at one point in their lives. Until her dying day my Grandmother couldn't believe MM wrote that book.


28 posted on 06/25/2006 11:14:01 AM PDT by groanup (Shred For Ian)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kalee

bookmark


29 posted on 06/25/2006 11:15:02 AM PDT by kalee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: AzaleaCity5691

I'd recommend it for entertainment and epic drama, but the "accurate portrayal of American history" is open to debate. ;)


30 posted on 06/25/2006 11:15:20 AM PDT by linda_22003
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: groanup
LOL!

Don't know what the matter has been with Will lately. He seems to spend most of his time apologizing for being conservative.

He ought to just say what he thinks and let the chips fall where they may.

31 posted on 06/25/2006 11:21:18 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: likelyvoter

It's a book only a teenaged girl could love; the movie is worse.


32 posted on 06/25/2006 11:22:44 AM PDT by kjo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: groanup

MM had help from a Priest, but I can't remmber his name....my father wrote about it in his autobiography.


33 posted on 06/25/2006 11:31:49 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy ("When Cabals Go Kaboom"....upcoming book on Mary McCarthy's Coup-Plotters.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar
Mitchell had been born in 1900, just 35 years after Appomattox and 23 years after Reconstruction ended. Her sensibilities were not what ours are. The novel has passages that cannot be read without cringing. (``Not trust a darky! Scarlett trusted them far more than most white people. ... They still stuck with their white folks and worked much harder than they ever worked in slave times.'') But to read such passages is to be stunned, once again, by the amazing speed with which America has changed for the better. In 1936, in Mitchell's Atlanta, the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King, had a son who was 7.

Thanks for a great post -- freedom allows our culture to turn on a dime. And sometimes for the better...

34 posted on 06/25/2006 11:34:37 AM PDT by GOPJ (Once you see the MSM manipulate opinion, all their efforts seem manipulative-Reformedliberal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

I liked the Movie GWTW, but whoever wrote that sequel should have been horsewhipped.


35 posted on 06/25/2006 11:47:52 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar
I half-expected Will to say that GWTW has been surpassed by The Wind Done Gone.

GWTW prettifies slavery and justifies the post-war Ku Klux Klan. These are serious flaws but both institutions were long dead by the time the novel was written. More harm is done by a modern novel which justifies abortion (e.g., John Updike's Couples).

My college literature professor dismissed Gone with the Wind as a soap opera.

36 posted on 06/25/2006 12:11:04 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

37 posted on 06/25/2006 12:14:48 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("fake but accurate": NY Times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sgtbono2002
I believe it was Alexandria Ripley who was to blame for the sequel.

As Groucho Marx says in one of the Marx Brothers movies, "I'd horsewhip you, if I had a horse."

38 posted on 06/25/2006 12:15:27 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus
My college literature professor dismissed Gone with the Wind as a soap opera.

I remember reading somewhere that 'Gone With the Wind' was rated the best movie of all time by the American people. Number two was 'Casablanca'.

39 posted on 06/25/2006 12:19:03 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("fake but accurate": NY Times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Dems_R_Losers

If I had been a girl, my name would have been Melanie. Plenty of women my age who do have that name.


40 posted on 06/25/2006 12:22:17 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

If you want to read "The Novel of the South" try Flash for Freedom by George MacDonald Fraser.


41 posted on 06/25/2006 12:36:11 PM PDT by dominic flandry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: justshutupandtakeit
GWTW is the best bad novel ever written nothing more though it is a fun read. I read it two years ago.

Not to mention the fact that it stole the Pulitzer Prize from Faulkner's 'Absalom, Abslaom'.
42 posted on 06/25/2006 12:50:42 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: caryatid
Slavery would have died a natural death as it had become un-economical in an increasingly industrial age.
Thomas Sowell made the point that Christianity changed in the 18th and 19th centuries. He pointed out that slavery existed and was taken for granted an an institution in all cultures and worldwide, throughout history. And that includes Christian culture as well as Confuscian, Budhist, Hindu, and Moslem.

But in the past two centuries Christianity became able to prevent slave raids of its own territory, and then became willing to fight for the freedom of strangers. Britain established a squadron of the Royal Navy permanently stationed off western Africa for no other purpose than to interdict the slave trade, without any hope of recompense, never mind profit. Not only so, but Britain did not recognize the Confederacy and interfere in the Civil War, which would have doomed the Union, even though cotton fueled Britain's industrial revolution. Fear of just such action by the British was the sole reason for the Emanicpation Proclamation, which was unpopular in the North and anathema in the South, but assured that British Christians would not support the Confederacy in any way.

Sowell points out that the South had a tiger by the tail and could not let go; abolition would mean letting abused black slaves have the opportunity to undertake to get even. And for that reason, before the war abolition was a marginal, radical, position upheld by few.

The history of this country was forever changed, and not for the better, by the deaths in the Civil War of a generation of the best young men ... South and North.
Unquestionably.

43 posted on 06/25/2006 12:52:22 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: conservatism_IS_compassion

I've always thought that there was a blockade to prevent British ships from buying the South's cotton.


44 posted on 06/25/2006 2:15:19 PM PDT by kitkat (The first step down to hell is to deny the existence of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Borges
Not to mention the fact that it stole the Pulitzer Prize from Faulkner's 'Absalom, Abslaom'.

Now that was a novel!

45 posted on 06/25/2006 2:23:38 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

I bet your freep name has given you a bit of notoriety too. Kinda like the shadow. There is something to be said about anonymity.


46 posted on 06/25/2006 2:51:03 PM PDT by conservative blonde (Conservative Blonde)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

I read it in the summer of '63. Many times since. Great literature---like with snob appeal? I suppose not. The contemporaries of Dumas and Stevenson weren't convinced of their immortality either.
But as far as I'm concerned, Gone With The Wind is time-tested. Besides, it's straight out of the spring of timeless storytelling: the hero tale where the hero is, first, clueless in clover, unappreciative and immature; then disaster strikes; then things get REALLY bad; then they climb out of the mess, inch by inch, forever changed, and whether they win or lose they have achieved authenticity and self-realization while remaining true to their deepest value.
That's The Story, and it always strikes a responsive chord in our hearts, always will. Every generation waits to hear it and be awakened by it.
So yeah, it's great literature. :)


47 posted on 06/25/2006 3:19:41 PM PDT by Graymatter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar
You might think that John Steinbeck, not Margaret Mitchell, was the emblematic novelist of the 1930s, and that the publishing event in American fiction in that difficult decade was his ``The Grapes of Wrath.'' Published in 1939, it captured the Depression experience that many Americans had, and that many more lived in fear of. Steinbeck's novel became a great movie and by now 14 million copies of the book have been sold.

The OVERRATED Steinbeck merely became a favorite of "educators" due to his socialist politics and flair for self-promotion. The only thing worse than the Grapes of Wrath was the horrible movie they made of it with Henry "Jane's Dad" Fonda.

48 posted on 06/25/2006 3:33:24 PM PDT by Clemenza (The CFR ate my bilderburgers! Time to call for a trilateral commission to investigate!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

As it stands, my favorite "southern" novel is "A Cry of Absense" by Madison Jones.


49 posted on 06/25/2006 3:34:37 PM PDT by Clemenza (The CFR ate my bilderburgers! Time to call for a trilateral commission to investigate!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bigg Red
As for capturing the spirit of the American woman, I hope that you don't see the grasping, conniving Scarlett as the archetypal American woman.


God Bless your little heart! You are right it is not the spirit of the American woman, it is the spirit of the true Southern American woman.

Lord have mercy!
Do you know what the definition of a Southern Belle is???

Well I will tell you sweetheart.

A mac truck disguised as a power puff! LOL
50 posted on 06/25/2006 3:37:56 PM PDT by DAVEY CROCKETT (Not one US soldier has lived, that has been captured by terrorist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-189 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson