Posted in Fiction

A Classic Surprise

I have a confession to make:  I’ve never known exactly what Rhett Butler didn’t give a damn about.  While I still don’t know because I’m only 400 pages into Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, my guess is that I will find out.  In spite of the movie (which I haven’t seen) leaving an indelible impression on pop culture for the better part of the last century, the novel itself only popped up on my radar in the last few years.

The February Meme from The Classics Club asks:

“What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?”

I have been surprised how quickly Mitchell pulls me into her novel’s world.  With unabashed pride, she paints a picture of 1860’s Georgia that I won’t be forgetting any time soon – and I still have over 1,000 pages to go.  I’ve been surprised at how well her novel incorporates the political complexities facing the United States during that time.  I’m surprised at how enthralled I am with the vivid characterizations of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara but am equally intrigued by Melanie and Ashley Wilkes.  I’ve been surprised to learn that at the onset of the Civil War, Atlanta was only about twenty-five years old while her sister coastal cities of Charleston and Savannah were moving into their third century.

The cover of my edition (see below) looks like a book one might find next to the magazine rack at the grocery store.  While romance is a big part of this novel, I’ve been surprised to find that Gone With The Wind is much more.

Look for another post when I finish reading it!

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