Thursday, March 6, 2014

Remembrance of "Gone with the Wind" by Cara Haley

          Gone with the Wind is a classical historical novel written by Margaret Mitchell. Published in 1936, this novel earned a National Book Award by American Bestsellers Association less than a year later. No sooner than two years following in 1939, Gone with the Wind was marvelously filmed into a two part movie. This film was awarded with ten Academy Awards, which included praise for its golden staring cast, featuring leading actress Vivien Leigh, who elegantly portrayed Scarlet O'Hara, and awarding Best Director, the honorable Victor Fleming. This film was masterly pieced and neatly illustrated most of the emotions that were in the book. Unlike the majority of movies made, this film kept many of the details that were in the book and didn't slaughter its grand potential. In my own opinion, I think that is what made it contain such excellence.
         Reading the book was much of an enjoyment. Its almost a thousand pages filled with an admirable story that begun during the time of the American Civil War. It opened up in Tara, Georgia, where southern star belle, Scarlet O'Hara, lived with wealth on a splendorous plantation, gaining anything she pleased. Always with everything at leisure, Scarlet O'Hara comes to a grave displeasure when Ashley Wilkes (who is played by Leslie Howard), her one true love, marries Melanie Hamilton (who is played by Olivia de Havilland). Out of jealousy and seeking favor in Ashley's eyes, Scarlet marries another and flounders in riches. But all is short lived, for the men went off to war, including Scarlet's newly wedded husband, Charles Hamilton (played by Rand Brooks) who happens to be Melanie's brother. Left behind in the company of Melanie Hamilton Wilkes, Scarlet is apathetic, wearing black to mourn for her hardly loved dead husband. Scarlet though finds herself in a situation with devious Rhett Butler (played by Clark Gable), who happened to overhear her love declaration to Ashley Wilkes earlier and is now taunting for her love. Without a realization of the feelings felt towards her, Scarlet only seeks for herself.
         Scarlet's life continues with a diverting plot, one which shows a full insight on the selfishness left crowded inside her heart, one that in fact, blinds any awareness towards life's integrity. With only the determination to gain wealth once more, Scarlet pretentiously deceives and uses anyone  with a heavy purse in her sight, including Rhett Butler and Frank Kennedy, who was her elder sister's beau. Heartlessly detached, Scarlet marries Frank Kennedy after a failure plea with Rhett Butler. Only with the lust for money, Scarlet pursues a business in milling, hoping to gain endless wealth. Going on like she once did before, Scarlet is obstinate and will not heed to others. Thereafter, she endures another dreadful incident which ends with her second husband, who went out seeking justice, killed.  Thoughtlessly driven, Scarlet immediately accepts Rhett Butler's offer of marriage and off they go living an effulgent lifestyle. In that marriage, Scarlet only loves money and her feelings for Ashley Wilkes are still the same, leaving Rhett dancing around those emotions. Their lives precedes with more difficulties and arguments, leaving Scarlet behind in actual misery.
        Later on, heartbreak returns after their beloved daughter falls in an accident on her horse and dies at an early age. Only by the comfort of Melanie Wilkes, the couple's souls resist crumbling, especially Rhett's. But short lived, Melanie's life ends when she is unable to carry another child. Scarlet then finally realizes with those last moments with Melanie that she doesn't truly despise her and will instead, miss her dearly. With one of her last breathes, Mrs Wilkes encourages Scarlet to fight for her marriage with Rhett for he does love her deeply. Pondering those words, Scarlet realizes that Rhett does care for her. Leaving that scene, Scarlet has a discussion with Ashley Wilkes, finally seeing that he loves Melanie, not her. It was never really her that he loved. Never with an affirmation did Mr. Wilkes tell Scarlet that he loved her more than a sister. Realizing that she only created those fake affections form Ashley to feel loved, Scarlet rushes off to her home where she confronts Rhett about his love for her. But soon understands that love can fade and that Rhett's, whose endured years of neglect, was buried with their daughter. No more heartaches needed, Rhett departs, not regarding Scarlet's last pleas. It was finally time for that broken individual to say no to anymore breaking of the soul. Ending with the hopes of tomorrow, Scarlet  is alone with only her forlorn self, seeing wholly now that she cares for something other than riches.
         This left the audience with wonder and knowledge about how things in life do fade into the fog. Both the movie and the book successfully captured the enthralling story. However, a few minor details didn't go unnoticed without them drifting apart from one another. The idea of Scarlet donating her wedding band at the charity bazaar first for the war like it was in the book changed in the movie, making Melanie give up her ring generously and Scarlet following for audible praise.  Another thing was that Scarlet bore only one child, which was with Mr. Rhett Butler, unlike in the book, she had two children with her previous husbands. I thought that those two children's existences really indicated Rhett's adoration and toleration for children. Also the fact that Rhett Butler had a son living in New Orleans was unknown to most people and was only mentioned once in the book. The book did have more detail about Rhett's previous life in Charleston that couldn't fit in the movie. Although the slight difference in detail between the movie and the book, I admire both works. The film itself was golden. Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlet O'Hara, matched the haughty attitude with her facial expressions, especially her famous eyebrow raise, flawlessly capturing the contemptuous look of her character. Both of these works of fiction are magnificent and are highly advice to both watch and read in order to grasp fully the rare art piece created in this era.

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