Gone with the Wind: A Conversation in Comments

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I have an issue this group can help with :)

I LOVE reading and when I was younger I was more consistent. life made me break the habit, I also have adhd(sic) so I search for titles that will hook me in.

My problem now is that I mostly loved Young Adult books.

For example:

Hard Love

Fallin(sic)

Parrotfish

Lessons from a dead girl

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

5 people you meet in heaven

Series of Unfortunate Events.. Etc(sic)

I am 28 now and I’d love books that are more age appropriate but that have a similar style. Pleaseee(sic) help a girl out!

The girl on the train was a good start

I am trying to find a good and engaging book

Conversation in Comments

Humzah: I am 35. I still watch cartoons and enjoy Backstreet boys as much as I enjoy Bach and Beethoven. It doesn’t matter what your age is as long as you like it. I would suggest classics if you want to get into something serious. They never disappoint. How about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Or Frankenstein by Mary Shelley?

Maliha: Oh I love all of Jane Austen’s books. Emma was the first one I read. I’ve watched all the BBC series and loved them all. Looking forward to the Netflix ‘Persuasion’ on 15th July!

Humzah: I have her pride and Prejudice for ages. I love the movie. Emma was my father’s favorite book. I got Northanger Abbey from my uncle. I can safely say she is our family author. I still need to read one of her books

Have you read to the lighthouse by Virginia Woolf? She is another of my favorite authors.

Maliha: No, I haven’t read this yet. I have just started Gone with The Wind. The beginning is so much like Jane Austen…balls, matchmaking…and then…out of nowhere…its about the gravity of war and losing loved ones. I’m halfway through

Humzah: I read somewhere that it sympathetic to Southerners in American Civil war and by that extension justify them having slavery there. What is your view?

Maliha: Honestly, if it were published today, the book would have been banned. The discrimination — verbal, physical, mental — is absolutely appalling. The first few pages were shocking.

I didn’t think of it as being sympathetic to anyone though. Yes, they do lament that now they don’t have any slaves…but Scarlett transitions from a silly girl only interested in nice dresses, ballroom dances, and how many men she can flirt with…to a woman who is responsible for running her father’s plantation. She even shot and buried a soldier who was going to rob her house.

I looked at it as a coming of age story. Of a woman who, instead of pining away for a man, is forced to stand up for herself, find food, manage her house.

But yes the language is derogatory. Even amongst the Southerners, those who do not own any farm / plantation, are called ‘white trash.’ It’s really shocking to read such words.

To answer your question, I have reached half-way through the book…and there is no justification for the slavery yet. The attitude towards the slaves is beyond pathetic, and the women spend a lot of time grieving for their dead…and face horrible hardships due to the war.

I feel this book is about delicate women toughening up and leading independent lives (instead of relying on their fathers / husbands / brothers and only worrying about their clothes and crushes).

Humzah: I think it is important to preserve this everyday life. That way it gives us a glimpse of what it was like to live in those times. What was it like to be a slave? It was not just physical abuse but psychological too and how damaging it was. When I was in Pakistan, I found it very weird that Pakistani found ‘Paki’ to be racist slur. Then a British called me that in bar. Then I realized how bad it felt. It’s not just the word but the context and the background that makes it a slur. These stories makes us familiar with that background. Why the N word is so offensive. Here is the background.

It’s good to know that along with that it is a coming of age story. In movies you can just show so much.

Maliha: I am sorry to hear this. Nobody should have to go through this.

No matter what country you live in, there are some racist idiots. I studied in Canada, and 95% people were amazing. But yes, there was this racist undercurrent in the remaining 5%.

Yes, you are right. Gone with the wind makes you understand why this word is an insult and so taboo now.

Humzah: hey can we connect on FB. I like making friends with other book lovers :)

Maliha: Sure thing! :)

Humzah: we can make an essay out of this exchange we can make an essay out of this exchange :)

Maliha: Haha! well, it certainly made me think deeply about Gone with the Wind. It’s become very dull now, only about the post-war difficulties. There is no end in sight.

Humzah: I felt that way throughout Madam Bovary then I realized that Flaubert want us to feel how bored her life was, how uneventful. That explained her decisions and later her demise. Without that feeling, it is hard to sympathize with her.

Humzah: can I publish select comments from our conversation on my medium blog. I will give you credit. I can use your initial MA if you have reservations about me using your name in my blog post. I think discussion is worth publishing

Maliha: Please go ahead :) you may use Maliha Abbas instead of the initials.

PS: do share a link of your blog; I’d love to read it

Humzah: thanks will do :)

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