Book Review: Gone with the Wind (Mitchell)

Have I read this before: Yes. I think this was the very first (or very second) book I read off my list way back in 7th grade. I remember it was 7th grade because I had to take one of those stupid electronic STAR reading tests or whatever they were called for it to “count” as a book I’ve read for English.

Review: Okay, so obviously: racism. So much racism. And it’s not just racism exhibited by every single white character in the book, but the omniscient narrator exhibits it as well, which makes it all even worse. Everything else about the book is enjoyable – the writing style is very engaging, the pacing is good, Scarlet is a very fleshed-out, complex character who is way more complex than she initially appears (mainly because she has to adapt after going through a lot of shit), and there is a realism to how the South is depicted both before and after the Civil War that I haven’t seen duplicated anywhere else.

But you can’t get past the racism. And I don’t think you should be able to get past the racism. I think that if you’re at all a decent human being, you should come away from this book feeling uncomfortable. I think that should be this book’s place in the world of literature right now.  

Favorite part: I appreciated the fact that Scarlett did not like babies/kids and never wavered on this point. You don’t see a lot of portrayals of women who just outright don’t like kids without eventually changing their minds, so that was refreshing at least.  

Why had God invented children, she thought savagely as she turned her angle cruelly on the dark road—useless, crying nuisances they were, always demanding care, always in the way.

Babies, babies, babies. Why did God make so many babies? But no, God didn’t make them. Stupid people made them.

Rating: 6/10

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