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Friday, February 27, 2009

Gone With The Wind: Insta-Poll

There's a new book by feminist writer Molly Haskell that explores the cultural significance of Gone With the Wind. According to the NYT, (which gives the book a thorough and fairly positive review) here's what she says about Scarlett:
“Scarlett embodies the secret masculinization of the outwardly feminine, the uninhibited will to act of every tomboy adolescent, here justified by the rule-bending crisis of war.”
My guess is a lot of you are like me, which is to say guilty Gone With the Wind fans. I chalk reading GWTW in 5th grade as one of my formative reading experiences. God I was a nerd, sitting in the back of my classroom reading about 17-inch waists and the burning of Atlanta while my classmates traded snap bracelets and chewed gum. I remember all of Scarlett's men: her wimpy first husband, the pragmatic second, and then of course the towering duo of Rhett and Ashley. Sigh.

So ANYHOW, despite its weird southern pride fetish and really racistly-rendered plantation full of compliant and cheerful slaves, I can't cross this book off my favorite list. Even though I'm a yankee through and through.

No, I'm too enamored with Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Melanie. I hope I am forgiven for this in the non-afterlife. I figure the fact that I love a lot of really anti-semitic books gives me some cred on this issue, but not enough.

So what about you guys? Are your Tara-philes like me or do you turn up your nose at this crowd of confederate characters?

Gone With the Wind: Redeemable, or Disgusting?
Redeemable--it has literary merit!
Disgusting. Ashley Wilkes and Melanie 4-eva. free polls

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