Unfinished Book Club: Gone with the Wind

Hi, readers!

Per usual, I’m still behind in our reading, but I want to discuss anyway.

So I’ll suggest a few topics below, you answer. Then we’ll hash it out in the comments!

The Questions

• By now in your reading, the war has ended. How is Atlanta different after the war? How is Scarlett different? How does the war change/affect all of our main characters?

• Upon his return to Tara, Ashley terms himself a coward. Do you agree? Disagree? Why do you think he says that?

• After the war, Scarlett doesn’t really seem to care what others think and does whatever she wants. Earlier in the novel, much is made of her mother and Mammy’s (and society in general) attempts to keep her living and acting according to the standards set out by polite society. Why do you think Scarlett no longer cares? Other families seem to be trying to live according to the old ways, but it isn’t really working? Why?

• What do you think is the overarching theme of Gone with the Wind? How does the story of Scarlett help to flesh out that theme?

Let’s talk in the comments! Can’t wait to read what you’re thinking 😉

Next week’s reading:

Chapters 36-47 discussion

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One thought on “Unfinished Book Club: Gone with the Wind”

  1. Hi Mandy,

    I’m sorry I’ve been absent from the comments lately. I’m finding myself without much free time these days. I only have a few minutes now, so I thought I’d address the issue of Scarlett’s attitude post-war.

    I think Scarlett always had a tendency to care more for herself than for others, as is evidenced in her attitude toward Melanie when she found out about her engagement to Ashley. She was not the least bit concerned that throwing herself at Ashley might cause Melanie deep pain. After the war, it seems that her gloves came off, and she quit trying to fight against that tendency toward selfishness.

    Maybe it happened because she saw that the old ways were useless. Maybe it happened because self-preservation was the key to survival. Maybe it happened because the new world had lost the gentility of the old one. Maybe it was a combination of all of those things.

    Whatever the case, Scarlett became obsessed with gaining wealth, because in her eyes, it was the only thing that could keep her from returning to those dark days after the war, when she had literally nothing to her name. The pursuit of that wealth became the most important thing in her life, to the detriment of everyone around her.

    I’ve always felt sorry for Scarlett, because in believing that material wealth would insulate her from the realities of the world, she cut off everything that makes life worth living. In the end, she’s left alone, without friends or even family to turn to. Her way may have guaranteed her survival, but at what cost?

    Unfortunately, by the time she realized the cost, it was too late.

    What do you think about Scarlett’s post-war behavior?

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