In case anyone hasn’t noticed, I’ve been making frequent posts about short stories. That’s because I’m still reading Gone With The Wind. I’m on page 852 to be exact – about 600 more to go. As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t seen the movie, either, so I don’t know how everything will end, yet.
The “about the author” section of my book reveals that Margaret Mitchell’s motivation in writing this novel was to portray people who survive as opposed to people who don’t. Her word for this ability to keep going was “gumption”. Unless the novel takes a strange turn in the last 600 pages, Scarlett O’Hara will rank up there as one of my favorite literary heroines – and there’s no doubt that she is a survivor: one with gumption. I’m still uncertain about Melanie Wilkes, Scarlett’s sister-in-law. Her almost altruistic character raises some questions in my mind about what Mitchell thought it takes to survive. What makes up gumption? Is selfishness or selflessness a part of it or does it take a little of both? It was a pleasant surprise when Melanie grabbed the feet of the Yankee that Scarlett killed and dragged his body out of Tara with his head clunking on the porch steps. Scarlett was impressed, too. She recognized a “steel” in Melanie that until then had been unrecognizable. Right now, I’m rooting for both of them.