Friday, January 30, 2015

Review of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind

Gone with the WindGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So, lash me with a wet noodle, but I found this novel kinda awful.

I don't think I've ever read a novel where I disliked every single character, found them all silly caricatures, and framed in a context of naive and displaced nostalgia for a Southern life that was actually quite disturbing and inhumane in spite of its pretenses to gentility and charm.

And, yes, I mean this about every character, including the surreally angelic Melly, the brat Bonnie Blue, and the disturbingly minstrelized Mammy.

I'm a born and bred Southerner myself (if you really call New Orleans southern); and I have to say that if this is the quintessential story of the true South, I say thank God the Yankees won and that this South is gone, for it's a contemptible society, not a quaint one.

But I don't think this picture is really anything like the South - even the South of the 1860s. It's a romance in all respects - a romance of what fantasists might pine for in terms of an identity, but even this romanticized fantasy leaves much to be desired.

I gave it a 2-star ranking instead of a 1-star ranking because I've read worse writing stylistically and structurally; but it's nowhere near what I would consider Pulitzer worthy talent.


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Liu Liu said...
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