November 5, 2016

GWTW Update

Oh, where do I start with this book?  In the beginning I found the language used by the slaves, talking about other slaves as well as the poor white folks, to be offputting to say the least.  And Scarlett?  She is such a manipulative, conniving, schemer that I really did have to pull myself up at times when I would go off on a tangent about her behaviour.  Little Miss Hot-pants is only 16 years old.  Marriage fodder during those times, but still... not sure what to think of her as a person.  Scarlett's almost pathological need to be the centre of attention - the prettiest girl in the county, having the tiniest waist, having all the men attend to her - just got annoying.  By the third chapter I was ready to consider that perhaps GWTW was not the novel for me and DNF it and move on.

But then I realised that Rhett still hadn't blessed us with his presence, and I was itching to find out what would happen when Scarlett finally did get her face-to-face meeting with Ashley Wilkes.  Oh, it was glorious!  Not only did she burn her bridges there (she slapped him but good!), but she found out what the other girls thought of her, and the old saying that eavesdroppers never hear any good was definitely true in Scarlett's case.  Mortified and humiliated, she nearly did a runner, but instead made a far worse choice when she happened to come across Charles Hamilton (a suitor of her sisters, or friend?) and he asks her to marry him, and she says yes on a whim.

Now, two chapters was all I was going to read last night, but on discovering this little nugget I couldn't help but continue.  What happens next made me feel sorry for Charles, and Wade - trying not to spoil stuff here - and Scarlett's attitude towards Wade didn't endear her to me at all.  I might have felt sympathy for her after she get's that letter regarding the death of Charles, but her uncaring attitude and emotional detachment is just hard to understand.

So I ended up finishing Part One of GWTW in my quest to find out what happened.  Hopefully Part Two will be a little more compelling and less involved in backstories (such as the 21 pages on Gerald and Ellen's lives, and then how Gerald and Ellen met and married was just waaaay too long.  Three pages would have sufficed!).

Thinking about how much I disliked the book to start with, I will give Margaret Mitchell credit for creating a character that you know is bad news, and will create havoc in peoples lives, and yet you still want to continue reading - even if it is only to see it all blow up in their face, which my motivation for reading.

Progress as of this morning.  I'm nearly out of tabs, people! ;-D


It's now Saturday, 5th November, and before I upload this post I wanted to let you know what's been going on in my reading battle with GWTW.

Yesterday I read about 50 or so pages, and I was feeling okay about the story.  The war was still ongoing, more men that Scarlett had known from childhood were being called up to fight - even as the General was retreating more land to the Union - and Scarlett had suffered the loss of the Tarleton boys.  Rhett was being a pain, and had ostracized nearly all of polite society in Atlanta.

Then I woke up early this morning, and by the time it was light enough to read I thought I'd only finish the next chapter and be done.  But noooo, I read until 9:38am (about 4 and a bit hours), and am now on p.522.  Scarlett has returned to Tara only to find her world turned upside down.  Her beloved mother is gone, and she is now in charge of Tara, fighting to keep mouths fed, and prepare for the future.  Rhett has been MIA for over a year (I think), and Melly has had her baby, Ashley finally returned, and once again Scarlett has tried to get him to admit that he loves her - only for him to admit it and rebuff her advances.

This, of course, threw Scarlett into another tissy of sorts.  It couldn't have come at a worse time since exorbitant taxes have been levied against Tara, and the 'white trash' daughter of the family that gave Typhoid to the O'Hara's has come calling with her husband (Tara's former overseer who was fired) and they make trouble.  Scarlett, in a real mood now, decides in a moment of madness that she just needs a man with money to fix the problem.  So with a new goal in site, Scarlett is determined to marry Rhett (once she finds him) in order to save Tara.

I had to stop here because I could see another doomed marriage on the horizon - and not to Rhett I'd wager! - as Scarlett soldier's forth in her battle to save her beloved home.  In the meantime, Ashley is having pangs of guilt at the thought that he's driven her to this - like he drove her into Charles arms - and I don't know if he and Melly, and the still nameless son, will even stay at this point, or move on?

I'm curious to know what happens - and how she can screw up her life so royally at times, and I think that this book is growing on me as I am starting to want to read ahead, follow Scarlett on her disasterous journey into the post-civil war years - and yet I still don't like her!  But I can understand why this was adapted for film as it is promising to be an epic story.

So those are my thoughts on GWTW.  I'd like to know what you thought of Scarlett?  Let me know in the comments ;-D

Until next time,

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