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Jill_Marie
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GWTW: Week 5, 8/29-9/4, Ch. 29-35, 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 5, 8/29-9/4, Ch. 29-35, NO SPOILERS

 

My last comment about the prior section of reading was, “I wonder when and if Rhett will appear, or be called on again.”  I am not surprised that he reappeared, but I was surprised to find him in jail!  Scarlett will literally do anything to keep Tara now.  She clearly takes a lot of pride in her plantation home.  I can see asking Rhett for money, maybe even being his mistress, but I can hardly believe that Scarlett is ready and willing to steal her sister’s fiancé and create a total lie that Suellen is engaged to marry someone else!  I find this to be the lowest she has stooped so far.  Couldn’t she just encourage Frank to marry Suellen and lend her some money for Tara?  She thought not.

 

I thought Ashley’s realization about what his new life would require of him was brutely honest and profound. 

“I had sheltered myself from people all my life, I had carefully selected my few friends.  But the war taught me I had created a world of my own with dream people in it.  It taught me I had created a world of my own with dream people in it.  It taught me what people really are, but it didn’t teach me how to live with the.  And I’m afraid I’ll never learn.  Now, I know what in order to support my wife and child, I will have to make my way among a world of people with whom I have nothing in common.  (pg. 498)

 

I had to chuckle when Scarlett thought to herself “what an innocent old fool Pitty was and, despite the ruin all around her, how sheltered!”  (pg. 526)  Scarlett has lost her innocence and so was able to see in Aunt Pitty what, she, Scarlett, used to be like, only Scarlett didn’t consciously realize that about herself.

 

I had to chuckle again when Scarlett thought to herself, “The days when money could be thrown away carelessly had passed.  Why did these people persist in making the gestures of the old days when the old days were gone?”  (pg 564)  This thought by the woman who just spent precious money on cologne water, quince-seed jelly, and a pot of rouge.  Hypocrisy at its best!

 

Poor Scarlett ends this section of reading realizing that she did not fit in with the people around her. They had changed and now she felt like an alien.  Even though they were poor, they still felt like ladies and Scarlett didn’t.  Hmmm, could it be that Scarlett doesn’t feel like a lady because she is not acting like one?

 

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 5, 8/29-9/4, Ch. 29-35, NO SPOILERS

REALLY, Scarlett?  Frank Kennedy?  Oh, couldn't you just slap her for that?  And the poor sister.  I agree; this is an under-handed move even for Scarlett.  I thought surely she could just sort of hurry along the marriage between Frank and Suellen.  I think he'd be glad to help out the family so they could keep the plantation, if only Scarlett would ask!  I don't know if this was in the movie or not (I've started re-watching it in bits), but I didn't see it coming.  Ugh, you know this marriage can't end well.  Why does Scarlett think matrimony is the answer to big problems?

 

Okay, I'll stop my ranting about the very end of this section of chapters.  ...Except to say that up until the whole Frank Kennedy bit, I was really gaining some respect for Scarlett.  Even seducing Rhett wasn't all that bad.  I mean, it's Rhett Butler.

 

With regards to Ashley...  It's not that I expected Scarlett to give up on him without a fight.  But I didn't quite think she would go so far as she did in the scene that plays out between the two of them.  I feel for Ashley. Before now, the reader really doesn't get a sense of just how much Ashley admires Scarlett.  I suppose you could argue that he mostly knew what he was doing when he married Melanie, but still, I can't help but feel bad for the guy.

 

As far as the writing itself goes, this is my favorite section of the book thus far.  I thought there were some beautiful moments, and I'm a little upset with myself for not having marked them all.

 

I, too, was struck by Ashley's conversation with Scarlett, though what caught my attention was his reply when Scarlett asked him what he was afraid of:

"Oh, nameless things.  Things which sound very silly when they are put into words.  Mostly of having life suddenly become too real, of being brought into personal, too personal, contact with some of the simple facts of life.  It isn't that I mind splitting logs here in the mud, but I do mind what it stands for.  I do mind, very much, the loss of the beauty of the old life I loved.  Scarlett, before the war, life was beautiful.  There was a glamor to it, a perfection and a completeness and a symmetry to it like Grecian art.  Maybe it wasn't so to everyone.  I know that now.  But to me, living at Twelve Oaks, there was a real beauty to living.  I belonged in that life.  I was a part of it.  And now it is gone and I am out of place in this new life, and I am afraid."  (pg. 519, 20th Avon Edition)

 

And how could you not like the section where Scarlett is watching the other people at the wedding ball and reflecting on the demise of the South?  I thought it just wonderful, particularly the following bit, when she's beginning to realize how it is that she is separated from other people:

"Their faces were little changed and their manners not at all but it seemed to her that these two things were all that remained of her old friends.  An ageless dignity, a timeless gallantry still clung about them and would cling until they died but they would carry undying bitterness to their graves, a bitterness to deep for words.  They were a soft-spoken, fierce, tired people who were defeated and would not know defeat, broken yet standing determindedly erect.  They were curshed and helpless, citizens of conquered provinces.  They were looking on the state they loved, seeing it trampled by the enemy, rascals making a mock of the law, their former slaves a menace, their men disfranchised, their women insulted.  And they were remembering graves. [...]

 

"But, no matter what sights they had seen, what menial tasks they had done and would have to do, they remained ladies and gentlemen, royalty in exile--bitter, aloof, incurious, kind to one another, diamond hard, as bright and brittle as the crystals of the broken chandelier over their heads.  The old days had gone but these people would go their ways as if the old days still existed, charming, leisurely, determined not to rush and scramble for pennies as the Yankees did, determined to part with none of the old ways." (pp. 598-599)

 

 

On to chapter XXXVI......

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Fozzie
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Re: GWTW: Week 5, 8/29-9/4, Ch. 29-35, NO SPOILERS

My comments in bold:

Camoena wrote:

REALLY, Scarlett?  Frank Kennedy?  Oh, couldn't you just slap her for that?  And the poor sister.  I agree; this is an under-handed move even for Scarlett.  I thought surely she could just sort of hurry along the marriage between Frank and Suellen.  I think he'd be glad to help out the family so they could keep the plantation, if only Scarlett would ask!  I don't know if this was in the movie or not (I've started re-watching it in bits), but I didn't see it coming.  Ugh, you know this marriage can't end well.  Why does Scarlett think matrimony is the answer to big problems?

 

Okay, I'll stop my ranting about the very end of this section of chapters.  ...Except to say that up until the whole Frank Kennedy bit, I was really gaining some respect for Scarlett.  Even seducing Rhett wasn't all that bad.  I mean, it's Rhett Butler.

 

I know!  I respected Scarlett too!  She has only herselfto blame for us losing respect for her!

 

With regards to Ashley...  It's not that I expected Scarlett to give up on him without a fight.  But I didn't quite think she would go so far as she did in the scene that plays out between the two of them.  I feel for Ashley. Before now, the reader really doesn't get a sense of just how much Ashley admires Scarlett.  I suppose you could argue that he mostly knew what he was doing when he married Melanie, but still, I can't help but feel bad for the guy.

 

I do feel badly for Ashley too.  He is trying to live an honorable life, but in order to do that now, he must act contrary to his upbringing and nature.  That will be a real strain!  I expect that he might "break" under it.  I am wondering what will happen...

 

As far as the writing itself goes, this is my favorite section of the book thus far.  I thought there were some beautiful moments, and I'm a little upset with myself for not having marked them all.

 

I agree.  Great writing.

 

I, too, was struck by Ashley's conversation with Scarlett, though what caught my attention was his reply when Scarlett asked him what he was afraid of:

"Oh, nameless things.  Things which sound very silly when they are put into words.  Mostly of having life suddenly become too real, of being brought into personal, too personal, contact with some of the simple facts of life.  It isn't that I mind splitting logs here in the mud, but I do mind what it stands for.  I do mind, very much, the loss of the beauty of the old life I loved.  Scarlett, before the war, life was beautiful.  There was a glamor to it, a perfection and a completeness and a symmetry to it like Grecian art.  Maybe it wasn't so to everyone.  I know that now.  But to me, living at Twelve Oaks, there was a real beauty to living.  I belonged in that life.  I was a part of it.  And now it is gone and I am out of place in this new life, and I am afraid."  (pg. 519, 20th Avon Edition)

 

And how could you not like the section where Scarlett is watching the other people at the wedding ball and reflecting on the demise of the South?  I thought it just wonderful, particularly the following bit, when she's beginning to realize how it is that she is separated from other people:

"Their faces were little changed and their manners not at all but it seemed to her that these two things were all that remained of her old friends.  An ageless dignity, a timeless gallantry still clung about them and would cling until they died but they would carry undying bitterness to their graves, a bitterness to deep for words.  They were a soft-spoken, fierce, tired people who were defeated and would not know defeat, broken yet standing determindedly erect.  They were curshed and helpless, citizens of conquered provinces.  They were looking on the state they loved, seeing it trampled by the enemy, rascals making a mock of the law, their former slaves a menace, their men disfranchised, their women insulted.  And they were remembering graves. [...]

 

"But, no matter what sights they had seen, what menial tasks they had done and would have to do, they remained ladies and gentlemen, royalty in exile--bitter, aloof, incurious, kind to one another, diamond hard, as bright and brittle as the crystals of the broken chandelier over their heads.  The old days had gone but these people would go their ways as if the old days still existed, charming, leisurely, determined not to rush and scramble for pennies as the Yankees did, determined to part with none of the old ways." (pp. 598-599)

 

 

On to chapter XXXVI......


 

Laura

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