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Jill_Marie
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GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS

 
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." -Upton Sinclair
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Earth72
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS

So much happened in these chapters. I take it back; I am not a big fan of Scarlett. I was happy that the novel picked up the pace and is easier to read.

"He's the idealist, he's the dreamer of a beautiful dream, and even if the dream doesn't come true, it's rather thrilling to have dreamt it" - W. Somerset Maugham
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Jill_Marie
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS


Earth72 wrote:

So much happened in these chapters. I take it back; I am not a big fan of Scarlett. I was happy that the novel picked up the pace and is easier to read.



Yeah, I liked her at first too, but I soon changed my mind. It's hard to really find anyone that is truly likable.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." -Upton Sinclair
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Mountain_Muse
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS


Jill_Marie wrote:

Earth72 wrote:

So much happened in these chapters. I take it back; I am not a big fan of Scarlett. I was happy that the novel picked up the pace and is easier to read.



Yeah, I liked her at first too, but I soon changed my mind. It's hard to really find anyone that is truly likable.



Lol Ladies,

 

Don't give up so quickly on these ladies of the 1860's.  Their social climate, the world in which they moved and their exposure to life in general was very geographically contained.  This was pointed out by the author when she spoke through Rhett Butler as he addressed the citizens of Charlston that they didn't have a clue of what the rest of the world was like or even where those "things" they loved dearly came from.  Nor had they even considered how they were going to fight a war when everything needed to conduct a war was manufactured in the north and thus they had no access to it.

 

We, with hindsight, and a global view see a totally different world, so tend to find these ladies stilted, narrowminded and prejudicial (well the last part is correct).  

 

I will admit though, I am glad to see the rose colored glasses coming off about your views about Scarlett.  She is a real "snot", isn't she?  lol  "Mean girls" are just that, no matter what century they were born in.

MM

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
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Camoena
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS

 
Yeah, I liked her at first too, but I soon changed my mind. It's hard to really find anyone that is truly likable.


Lol Ladies,

 

Don't give up so quickly on these ladies of the 1860's.  Their social climate, the world in which they moved and their exposure to life in general was very geographically contained.  This was pointed out by the author when she spoke through Rhett Butler as he addressed the citizens of Charlston that they didn't have a clue of what the rest of the world was like or even where those "things" they loved dearly came from.  Nor had they even considered how they were going to fight a war when everything needed to conduct a war was manufactured in the north and thus they had no access to it.

 

We, with hindsight, and a global view see a totally different world, so tend to find these ladies stilted, narrowminded and prejudicial (well the last part is correct).  

 

MM


 

I think there are plenty of likable characters.  Melanie, for instance.  She's so sweet and unassuming.  If I didn't like her it would only be a result of jealousy, or because I thought her so nice it made me sick. 

 

And even if Gerald O'Hara is a gambling drunk, there's still something about him that appeals to me.  Kinda like the uncle that your entire family disapproves of, but all you really know is that he was always kind to you and gave you candy at family reunions.

 

I have no issues with Ashley.  At least right now, I don't believe he ever knowingly led Scarlett on.  (It's been too long since I've seen the movie to remember much of anything from it.)  I could be biased, though, since the intellectual type appeal to me.

 

Maybe it's because I vaguely remember the character from the movie, or maybe it's just because I do like a bit of the bad boy....but I really do like Rhett Butler.  He's a likable **bleep**.  I assure you such things do exist.

 

I will say I don't particularly care for Aunt Pittypat.  She's way too much of a wet noodle.  Maybe if she showed a bit of gumption I'd be okay with her.

 

And Scarlett?  Yeah, my opinion of her is pretty much unchanged.  Never was my favorite to begin with.  Too bad we haven't visited Mammy in a while; I liked her.  Oh, and Uncle....what's his face?  that drives the carriage?  I like him too.  (Names are not my strong point, okay?)

 

Moving on.....   Mtn Muse brings up a good point regarding world view and social climate.  I live in the South (Texas, which I still think counts), and I have to say that many of the Atlanta women we meet in the book are already familiar to me.  Not because I've read the book -- I haven't -- but because I have grown up around them.  Abilene, Texas, is the buckle on the "Bible Belt" and women at church that do all the planning and putting together of events can be just as bad as some of the women we meet in Atlanta, Georgia, surrounding Scarlett with their gossip and condemning ways.  (I'm not saying everyone is like this but...well, stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason.)

 

I find it interesting that GWTW is in some ways as much a reflection of life in the South now as it was around the Civil War.  I know plenty of women in the area who are content not to know anything outside their social climate.  Certainly, with the internet and television and this being such a mobile society, it is hard to be so very naive and ignorant of the world.  But people are still capable of limiting themselves only to their own lives and what goes on in the immediate area.  Does anyone else find the resemblances between societies old and new so very striking?

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
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Jill_Marie
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS


Mountain_Muse wrote:

Jill_Marie wrote:

Earth72 wrote:

So much happened in these chapters. I take it back; I am not a big fan of Scarlett. I was happy that the novel picked up the pace and is easier to read.



Yeah, I liked her at first too, but I soon changed my mind. It's hard to really find anyone that is truly likable.



Lol Ladies,

 

Don't give up so quickly on these ladies of the 1860's.  Their social climate, the world in which they moved and their exposure to life in general was very geographically contained.  This was pointed out by the author when she spoke through Rhett Butler as he addressed the citizens of Charlston that they didn't have a clue of what the rest of the world was like or even where those "things" they loved dearly came from.  Nor had they even considered how they were going to fight a war when everything needed to conduct a war was manufactured in the north and thus they had no access to it.

 

We, with hindsight, and a global view see a totally different world, so tend to find these ladies stilted, narrowminded and prejudicial (well the last part is correct).  

 

I will admit though, I am glad to see the rose colored glasses coming off about your views about Scarlett.  She is a real "snot", isn't she?  lol  "Mean girls" are just that, no matter what century they were born in.

MM


Yes, these people (not just the women) are all products of their environment; however, the environment sucks a bit! Don't ya think?? Certainly no society is perfect, but the prejudices are hard to comprehend. Also, it's not even just in the character dialogue, but also in the narration. Have you noticed this as well? I wish I had a good example on hand, but it is a little off-putting. As for Scarlett, she is a total B. I do, however, like that she isn't quite as sheep-like as the other women around her. At least she has that going for her.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." -Upton Sinclair
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Fozzie
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS

[ Edited ]

 

I chuckled while reading all your comments about the characters you love to hate!  I don’t get caught up in which characters I like or don’t like.  I read the book as an observer looking in, detached from things but fascinated by everything I am reading.  I feel truly transported to another time and place while reading this book because we are privy to many characters’ thoughts and the book is written in an almost educational way, such that someone who doesn’t know much about the South or the Civil War doesn’t feel confused.

 

I thought that much of this section of reading was like reading a character study of Scarlett.  Surprisingly, I am not bored by reading all her thoughts.  This is a much more introspective novel than I expected though.  I like when Rhett challenges Scarlett about a custom or norm and then she thinks it through.  I am thinking things through with her!  I don’t blame Scarlett for not liking a lot of the rules of the day, and for not liking nursing!

 

I think it is clever how Rhett is on the outskirts of Scarlett’s life several times.  In Chapter Ten, it was implied that he got Gerald drunk so that he came home singing, Scarlett could blackmail Gerald with that, and he could allow her to stay in Atlanta even though he was supposed to bring her home due to her conduct at the bazaar.  In Chapter Thirteen, the prostitute, Belle, gave gold coins to Melanie to use for the hospital and when Melanie brought them home, Scarlett noticed they were wrapped up in one of Rhett’s handkerchiefs.  I don’t think that was a coincidence!

 

I wonder if “all wars are in reality money squabbles,” as Rhett claims in Chapter Twelve?  I don’t know enough history to begin to answer that, but the statement gave me something to think about.  I love when books do that!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS


Camoena wrote:
 

 Does anyone else find the resemblances between societies old and new so very striking?



I hadn't thought about the similarities between old and new societies, but you are right --- they are there.  I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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willowy
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS

I've been keeping up with the reading but for some reason the past week or so I haven't been able to post, so I'm catching up now! The pace of the  book definately started to pick up in these chapters. I agree with the view of most of you, Scarlett isn't a likable character, but I don't think she is really meant to be either. But she is an amusing character! 

It was interesting to read about traditions of mourning for widows back then. I could see how it would be hard for someone like Scarlett, the way you were to dress and act and conduct yourself for years afterward....it must have been very strict for a headstrong 16/17 year old!

I found this article about mourning in the civil war era, it gave a little more info on it, but also has a picture of a woman in full formal mourning clothes. I couldn't imagine wearing that in the Atlanta heat!

http://historiccamdencounty.com/ccnews43.shtml

 

I also noticed there seemed to be a lot of subtle forebooding in the last few chapters, you could feel the scene being set for the change in situation the war is about to bring.  

-----------Willowy----------
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Camoena
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Re: GWTW: Week 2, 8/8-8/14, Ch. 8-14, NO SPOILERS


willowy wrote:

It was interesting to read about traditions of mourning for widows back then. I could see how it would be hard for someone like Scarlett, the way you were to dress and act and conduct yourself for years afterward....it must have been very strict for a headstrong 16/17 year old!

I found this article about mourning in the civil war era, it gave a little more info on it, but also has a picture of a woman in full formal mourning clothes. I couldn't imagine wearing that in the Atlanta heat!

http://historiccamdencounty.com/ccnews43.shtml


Willowy - thanks for that article!  That was a good addition to the board for these chapters.

 

Not that I've ever really researched mourning customs, but I've long found them fascinating.  They are, some of them, so complex and strict.  I find it interesting how much mourning has changed:  now we wear black only to the funeral, our social lives are very little impacted when a death occurs, and not only is there no mourning "protocol" to be followed, but people are expected back in their normal roles (work, school, etc.) within days of a family death, pretty much as soon as the funeral is over.  However, the practice of mourning did give people time to reflect on those lost, and I think that was a good thing.  I feel like people now hardly have time to come to terms with a loss before they're back to life as usual.

 

Still, mourning as we see it in earlier times was rather extreme.  I feel like it was a custom created much more for older women than it was the younger ones.  I do realize that, in some ways, young girls were grown up much more in the 1800s than they are at the same age now.  Even so, I think it would be difficult for a teenage girl to feel content, not to feel repressed, with such stringent rules.  I'm in my twenties and have always been mature for my age, and I don't think that I could go without fighting against such rituals.  I think you might have to be a saint to subject to 19th century mourning without any sort of a complaint or rebellion at all.

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!