For some reason, one of my favorite memories from when I was a little girl is being at home alone with my mom, watching Gone With The Wind while she cleaned the house. Even then, there was something about Scarlett O'Hara that simply mesmorized me. At the beginning of the summer, I decided to embark on a rather ambitious task for someone who Cliff Noted her way through high school and college literature classes - I was going to read ALL of Gone With The Wind. Luckily, I had several hours stuck on airplanes to and from Europe to aid me in my quest.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book is not only fairly easy to read, but much of the original dialogue from the book was used in the big screen version. More than a relaxing and enjoyable read, I have found that I truly relate to Scarlett. There is something about her that I relate to and strive to be. Obviously, I do not plan on marrying a much older gentleman in the hopes of saving my family's plantation from the greedy hands of the carpetbaggers and scallawags...but there are some other similarities.
Scarlett learns at an early age that there are certain protocols that women of her generation must follow and strictly adhere to. Although she easily adopts the mannerisms which allow her to capture the heart of every beau in the county, there is something empty about the entire process to her. She views her world with skeptic eyes...never quite understanding the reasoning behind certain archaic traditions and eventually arriving at a stage in her life where she blatantly fouts all convention in order to save herself and Tara from poverty. I love her determination and the ferocity with which she attacks her situation in life. There's something about a heroine in a book that refuses to give up or act a certain way just because of what people think she should do that I relate to. And unfortunately, I definitely understand the act of playing the part in order to get men to do things for you. A shy, but genuine smile and the right tone of voice can get you far in life, as I have discovered. I also love how Rhett completely strikes through her "southern belle" facade and respects and loves her for defying the norm.
I only wish that she didn't spend her life wasting her efforts on that waif Ashley.
Now, if only I can find my own Rhett Butler...