Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Before 30 - Gone With the Wind

13 down, 17 to go!! How is it possible that I've read all of Gone With the Wind in two and a half weeks? It's the train, I tell ya. It's the darn train! Thirty minutes of reading into the city, and thirty minutes reading back out to the 'burbs...apparently it makes even Gone With the Wind a quick read.

Someone else is excited about my growing stack of books, too...


She put her arm across the books while I was trying to snap my usual photo, and I couldn't resist. I know it ruins the little book progression I had going, but I don't really care, because this is now officially my very favorite "30 Before 30" photo.

Is it weird that I get a little twinge of pride when I think about the fact that I've turned every single page in that stack? Yes? Ok...nevermind then.

Alright, here's where I give you a synopsis. I just can't, though. I'm don't have the energy to recap it all. Since you insist, however, here's a little info to make you feel like I'm not cheating you out of your usual spoiler:

Margaret Mitchell, the author, said that at the book's heart, it's really about survival. While I can't disagree with her (mostly because she wrote the book and if she said that it was about circus performers and time travel, who am I to dispute that?), in my opinion, the book spoke of a lot more than survival.

The moral of the story (to my mind) was this:

If you pine away your entire life hoping for what you deserve, you may very well get what you deserve. Trust me (and Scarlett), the one thing in the world that you absolutely don't want is what you "deserve."

The book was really amazing. Despite the fact that the protagonist doesn't "win" in the end, it was easy to see why this is a classic novel. I couldn't decide whether the narration of the book was overtly racist or overtly not-racist (is there a word for that?), but I loved the depiction of the Civil War, and I loved how much I could love Scarlett O'Hara while simultaneously thinking she was a wretched, self-centered little beast. I've never found history so interesting, embarrassingly.

Here's my gripe: Why in the WORLD does the protagonist always LOSE!? Just once, I want to see an optimistic end to a classic novel. I am so hesitant every time I pick up a book now because I know that if it's a classic, it probably doesn't end well. And by "well" I mean sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. Sometimes, I don't want to think about the philosophically right ending, I want to think about the happy ending. Like a Disney movie.

Clearly, that means that I don't have the intellectual wherewithal to appreciate good works of fiction, but in the sage words of Rhett Butler, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Next Book: 1984 by George Orwell

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3 comments:

  1. best interpretation EVER. and LOVE the picture too, of course!

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  2. I LOVE your 30 before 30!...sooo...I'm a little late in finding them, but that's ok....how fun are classic books?? But I totally agree-why do they so often end in logical to life depressive but realistic endings??? Sheesh...I go to books to escape! With that said...they are very well written and not all are like that.

    Have you read Shirley by Bronte? This is a fabulous book and the ending is lovely which I can't say the same for all the bronte books but this one and Agnes Grey ohh and Evelina are three of my all time favorite classics with good endings!! :)))

    Jeanine :)

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  3. Jeanine, I'm so excited to read the books you've mentioned! I LOVE doing the 30 before 30 - despite the fact that most of the books don't end like they're supposed to, I'm pretty proud of myself for making it through them :) Can't wait to pick up the good ending ones - I haven't read any of those yet!

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