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Jill_Marie
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GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, 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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Camoena
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Re: GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS

In some ways, I felt like this was the most tedious section of the book so far.  The tactical run-downs we kept seeing weren't the most interesting to me.  I guess I do have that in common with Scarlett:  too much talk of fighting starts to bore me.  Parts of it were interesting...and other parts just weren't.  Sort of like Leviticus and Numbers in the Bible...it can get a little monotonous.

 

One great part about the "war talk" is that it kept a bit of the focus off Scarlett's truly obnoxious self-centered thoughts.  It was also nice to see her care a little bit about someone besides herself. There were still plenty of selfish undertones, but I feel like she's finally starting to care a little bit about the well-being of others.  And for this I cheer, "Way to go, Scarlett!  Keep working on it!"

 

Another first in this section is the fact that we're finally starting to see real results of the devastation of war.  Ashley had a line somewhere in previous chapters about how war wasn't about glory but about devastation or something like that.  Does anyone know which quote I'm referring to?  I should've marked it.  Anyway, here we're finally starting to see the fulfillment of that statement.  No longer are the injured soldiers gaily joining in the festivities of Atlanta; they're straggling or being carted into town, injuries are gruesome, medicine is scarce, good clothes are hard to come by, spirits are low.  These chapters, to me, seem to draw a sharp contrast between the frivolity of the early war and  the desperation in later stages of war.  In a somewhat abrupt shift of tone, the war is suddenly very real.  I thought Mitchell did a great job of emphasizing the growing desperation of the Southern population as the war moved closer to Atlanta.

 

Being from Texas, I feel like the cocky Southern attitude is still pretty much unchanged from what we initially read about in GWTW.  It's not unusual to see a Confederate flag plastered across the back windshield of one of the big farm trucks driving about town, or on a t-shirt.  (You've even got a following of die-hard Texans who think we could secede from the US and start our own country.)

 

What other attitudes, behaviors, or customs do you feel have remained unchanged between the Civil War era and the present day?

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
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willowy
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Re: GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS


Camoena wrote:

In some ways, I felt like this was the most tedious section of the book so far.  The tactical run-downs we kept seeing weren't the most interesting to me.  I guess I do have that in common with Scarlett:  too much talk of fighting starts to bore me.  Parts of it were interesting...and other parts just weren't.  Sort of like Leviticus and Numbers in the Bible...it can get a little monotonous.

 


I agree, I found myself getting a bit tired of the more tedious aspects of the war talk as well. However it was interesting to see how the war is beginning to affect the people of the South, its no longer something they just hear about, but now it's something they are seeing first hand. It's not a just a "glorious cause" they talk about, they are seeing it and what it costs. It is a rather jarring change from the earlier chapters.

 

-----------Willowy----------
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Camoena
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Re: GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS

Totally!  Do you remember which quote of Ashley's I'm referring to? I can't for the life of me think where it is.

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
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Fozzie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS


willowy wrote:

Camoena wrote:

In some ways, I felt like this was the most tedious section of the book so far.  The tactical run-downs we kept seeing weren't the most interesting to me.  I guess I do have that in common with Scarlett:  too much talk of fighting starts to bore me.  Parts of it were interesting...and other parts just weren't.  Sort of like Leviticus and Numbers in the Bible...it can get a little monotonous.

 


I agree, I found myself getting a bit tired of the more tedious aspects of the war talk as well. However it was interesting to see how the war is beginning to affect the people of the South, its no longer something they just hear about, but now it's something they are seeing first hand. It's not a just a "glorious cause" they talk about, they are seeing it and what it costs. It is a rather jarring change from the earlier chapters.

 


Normally, I can't stand to read historical novels that have a lot of details about battle and maneuvers.  However, I wasn't been bored with this section at all.  Maybe because I broke it up with some other reading.  I think the author wanted to show how the people's thoughts and actions with regard to the war changed as the actual fighting approached Atlanta and their homes, so the material had to be presented in a step by step way.  I remember reading that being under siege became "normal" for the people of Atlanta.  They had worried so much about what would be if the city was under siege, but once it was, that worry went away and they learned to live.  I find the thoughts and reactions of the characters to the war to be varied and interesting.

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 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS

 

This set of chapters was driven not only by the approaching war front, but by Ashley’s request that Scarlett “look after Melanie” for him.  Wow!  To have the man you love, who married another, ask you to look after his wife, whom you hate … I can’t imagine!  Scarlett felt trapped by the promise, then trapped by Melanie’s advanced pregnancy, then trapped by Melanie’s labor.  That would be too much to handle!  Scarlett is a strong woman.

 

Rhett didn’t really bother me until this section of reading.  It was okay to be a blockade runner and provide goods to the south.  However, when I read in Chapter Sixteen that he was “openly engaged in food speculation,” I lost respect for him.  Favoring some people with luxuries was one thing, but speculating on food when people were starving was quite another.

 

I couldn’t believe what I was reading in Chapter Eighteen, page 313:

“Scarlett and many other ladies sat on the flat roof of stores, shaded by their tiny parasols, and watched the fighting on the day of the battle of Atlanta.”

What?!?  Strange!  Dangerous!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Camoena
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Re: GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS


Rhett didn’t really bother me until this section of reading.  It was okay to be a blockade runner and provide goods to the south.  However, when I read in Chapter Sixteen that he was “openly engaged in food speculation,” I lost respect for him.  Favoring some people with luxuries was one thing, but speculating on food when people were starving was quite another.

 

I couldn’t believe what I was reading in Chapter Eighteen, page 313:

“Scarlett and many other ladies sat on the flat roof of stores, shaded by their tiny parasols, and watched the fighting on the day of the battle of Atlanta.”

What?!?  Strange!  Dangerous!


 

While I still don't hate Rhett....I have to admit that I wasn't a huge fan of that bit, either.  At the same time, he was never dishonest about his motives for his own war-time activities:  he always admitted he was only in it (whatever "it" was) for the money.

 

I remember vaguely from American History in high school that there were spectators at a few battles.  The most notable of these was the First Battle of Bull Run.  Not only were there quite a lot of them, they were picnicking!  I believe that kinda cleared out once they realized just what battle entailed.  While I agree that it's strange, I'm not sure that it's really any better than, say, what went on in the Roman Coliseium.  I've never understood why fighting to the death and executions are spectator "sports".  Maybe it's just because I'm female, I dunno.

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
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Fozzie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: GWTW: Week 3, 8-15-8/21, Ch. 15-21, NO SPOILERS


Camoena wrote:

 

I couldn’t believe what I was reading in Chapter Eighteen, page 313:

“Scarlett and many other ladies sat on the flat roof of stores, shaded by their tiny parasols, and watched the fighting on the day of the battle of Atlanta.”

What?!?  Strange!  Dangerous!


 

I remember vaguely from American History in high school that there were spectators at a few battles.  The most notable of these was the First Battle of Bull Run.  Not only were there quite a lot of them, they were picnicking!  I believe that kinda cleared out once they realized just what battle entailed.  While I agree that it's strange, I'm not sure that it's really any better than, say, what went on in the Roman Coliseium.  I've never understood why fighting to the death and executions are spectator "sports".  Maybe it's just because I'm female, I dunno.


While I refused to attend a bull fight when I went to Spain in high school, I understand how that is a spectator sport, if you dare call it that.  But war, something to watch for entertainment?  Get me out of there!  I could be killed!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.