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Jill_Marie
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GWTW: Week 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22-28, 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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Fozzie
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Re: GWTW: Week 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22 Only, NO SPOILERS

I thought Melanie was going to die in childbirth.  I found myself surprised when she didn't!  Now, will Scarlett finally be able to leave Melanie?  I'm looking forward to finding out!

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 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22-28, NO SPOILERS

 

What struck me most about this section of the book was how strong Scarlett had to be, mentally, and physically, to evacuate Atlanta and then deal with what remained of her family at Tara. 

“She was seeing things with new eyes for, somewhere along the long road to Tara, she had left her girlhood behind her.”  (pg. 400)

“’I won’t think of it now.  I can’t stand it now.  I’ll think of it later,’ she said aloud, turning her eyes away.”  (pg. 406)

 

It was interesting to see which slaves remained and why. 

 

It was heartbreaking to read about the mental damage done to Scarlett’s father by the death of Ellen, his wife.

 

I also noted a couple of times where Scarlett acknowledged to herself, at least, the courage and strength of Melanie.  I wonder if Scarlett will eventually truly come to care for and respect Melanie?  I never would have thought so prior to this section of reading.

 

“She saw in a flash of clarity untouched by any petty emotion that beneath the gentle voice and the dovelike eyes of Melanie there was a thin flashing blade of unbreakable steel, felt too that there were banners and bugles of courage in Melanie’s quiet blood.”  (pg. 420)

 

And I wonder when and if Rhett will appear, or be called on again.

 

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 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22-28, NO SPOILERS

Laura - I've found those few bits where Scarlett admires Melanie rather intriguing as well.  I saw the movie years ago, and I remember bits and pieces (such as which characters reappear and even some of the circumstances following any reappearances).  But without revealing anything, I will say that I can't recall whether Scarlett ever really comes to care much for Melanie.  I would say that I think it's probably unlikely, since Scarlett is even jealous of Melanie for having Ashley's son.  And I think it's mentioned when Yankee soldiers raid Tara that Scarlett thinks she could make a good mother to Ashley's baby, though we've seen her make few attempts at raising her own child.

 

I had a feeling that Ellen wasn't going to make it through her fever, but I was still pulling for her.  I was sad to see her go, if not strictly for Scarlett's sake, then for that of the rest of her family, most especially Gerald.  It's somewhat heartbreaking to see how he's dulled in Ellen's absence.

 

I will admit Scarlett is starting to grow on me, probably because she's somewhat less self-obsessed in these chapters.  Once you do away with her selfishness, petty complaints, and clouds of beaux, she really is a resilient character.  Maybe not very deep, but there is more to her than meets the eye.

 

One thing I do find overwhelming in this section is the extreme poverty that the survivors of the war are subject to.  Maybe it's not even the poverty, but in some ways the ruthlessness it drives people to.  Such as the Yankee soldiers who pillage and loot their ways through the homes of the South.  While I realize this is a part of war, I guess I always thought of abandoned houses or dead soldiers being looted, not homes where people still remain, and most certainly not homes full of women.  Maybe I trust too much in the goodness of people.  And while the Confederate commissary soldiers don't steal from Tara, I do wonder if they wouldn't have done so had there not been acquaintances among them.

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
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Re: GWTW: Week 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22-28, NO SPOILERS


Camoena wrote:

Laura - I've found those few bits where Scarlett admires Melanie rather intriguing as well.  I saw the movie years ago, and I remember bits and pieces (such as which characters reappear and even some of the circumstances following any reappearances).  But without revealing anything, I will say that I can't recall whether Scarlett ever really comes to care much for Melanie.  I would say that I think it's probably unlikely, since Scarlett is even jealous of Melanie for having Ashley's son.  And I think it's mentioned when Yankee soldiers raid Tara that Scarlett thinks she could make a good mother to Ashley's baby, though we've seen her make few attempts at raising her own child.

 

I had a feeling that Ellen wasn't going to make it through her fever, but I was still pulling for her.  I was sad to see her go, if not strictly for Scarlett's sake, then for that of the rest of her family, most especially Gerald.  It's somewhat heartbreaking to see how he's dulled in Ellen's absence.

 

I will admit Scarlett is starting to grow on me, probably because she's somewhat less self-obsessed in these chapters.  Once you do away with her selfishness, petty complaints, and clouds of beaux, she really is a resilient character.  Maybe not very deep, but there is more to her than meets the eye.

 

One thing I do find overwhelming in this section is the extreme poverty that the survivors of the war are subject to.  Maybe it's not even the poverty, but in some ways the ruthlessness it drives people to.  Such as the Yankee soldiers who pillage and loot their ways through the homes of the South.  While I realize this is a part of war, I guess I always thought of abandoned houses or dead soldiers being looted, not homes where people still remain, and most certainly not homes full of women.  Maybe I trust too much in the goodness of people.  And while the Confederate commissary soldiers don't steal from Tara, I do wonder if they wouldn't have done so had there not been acquaintances among them.



Laura & Camoena,

 

The Scarlett of this section was one strong lady.  But what was interesting to me was the way she described herself.  In one introspect moment she said to herself "I have to be mean!"  And mean she was.  Being mean was the only way she knew how to interpret "strong".  And by that , I mean to get people to do what she had to get them to do so they could all survive.  

She realized that her father was a wasted shell, her mother was gone, her sisters still remained very ill, Melanie was still very ill and weak from the complicated birth of the baby.  The only slave that came down from Atlanta with her was her useless maid.  The only remaining slaves left at the plantation were the house slaves who nothing but how to run a house.....none of these people had survival skills.....this spelled disaster for all. 

There were no strong men present --- not white, not black --- none.  Scarlett had been abandoned by Rhett Butler just outside of Atlanta when he suddenly became a Southern Patriot and decided to go off to war for the South (who would have ever thought!!!!).  

Oh how fortunate for Scarlett that she literally ran into the pregnant cow just before she got to the plantation.  Oh how fortunate that she remembered where the whiskey stash was buried.  Oh how fortunated that the union soldiers didn't know about or like sweet potatoes....  Now how did Scarlett ever think of Sweet potatoes in the field?  She could barely deal with knowledge of cotton.  The very thought of growing food was beyond her knoweldge also.... but mysteriously she suddenly developed this knowledge and it was fortunate for all that she did.

As to how women and children fared at the hands of both armies during the war ----  during war there are no innocents..... only victims.  Women and children were expendable to all, if it meant food for "their men".  Chivalry was scarce, but when it did exist, was not limited to just the Rebel army.  Chivalry was also evident in the Union army, too.  (History bore this out, time and time again).

 

Mtn Muse

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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Fozzie
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Re: GWTW: Week 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22-28, NO SPOILERS


Camoena wrote:

 

One thing I do find overwhelming in this section is the extreme poverty that the survivors of the war are subject to.  Maybe it's not even the poverty, but in some ways the ruthlessness it drives people to.  Such as the Yankee soldiers who pillage and loot their ways through the homes of the South.  While I realize this is a part of war, I guess I always thought of abandoned houses or dead soldiers being looted, not homes where people still remain, and most certainly not homes full of women.  Maybe I trust too much in the goodness of people.  And while the Confederate commissary soldiers don't steal from Tara, I do wonder if they wouldn't have done so had there not been acquaintances among them.


I, too, was surprised by the sheer waste of food and all other resources by the Yankees who went through and destroyed everything.  During war, I could understand destroying stocks of supplies, but to systematically destroy homes one by one seems over the top to me.  It is amazing that anyone could survive with literally almost nothing left.

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 4, 8/22-8/28, Ch. 22-28, NO SPOILERS


Mountain_Muse wrote:

 

The Scarlett of this section was one strong lady.  But what was interesting to me was the way she described herself.  In one introspect moment she said to herself "I have to be mean!"  And mean she was.  Being mean was the only way she knew how to interpret "strong".  And by that , I mean to get people to do what she had to get them to do so they could all survive.

 

 

There were no strong men present --- not white, not black --- none.  Scarlett had been abandoned by Rhett Butler just outside of Atlanta when he suddenly became a Southern Patriot and decided to go off to war for the South (who would have ever thought!!!!).


 

 

I think it is in this section that it becomes very evident that Scarlett's upbringing by her mother is overpowered by her likeness to her father.  I hate to say that "mean was the only way she knew how to interpret 'strong'" because I believe that Scarlett viewed her mother as a very strong person, though Ellen was always polite in her strength.  If I recall correctly, Scarlett even reflects on the fact that her mother would be ashamed of the way in which she handles situations; she realizes that Ellen would have achieved similar results by behaving much differently.  So maybe I'm nit-picking, but I would revise that statement by saying that mean was the only way Scarlett knew how to be strong.  And, frankly, I don't feel like Scarlett herself would have gotten results from her family by being nice.  When she did what she needed to get everyone at Tara functioning again, she knew that "mean" was the only way in which people would actually take her seriously.  I think she just has that kind of a personality.

 

As for Rhett Butler....  I didn't see that one coming!  I figured war is about the last place we'd end up seeing him.  Surprise!

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