To Do Lists

Classics Challenge: January

On the last day of each month I will be writing about how my Classic Challenge for the month went, what I thought of the book, etc.

Challenge: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


Status: FAIL!

Seriously guys, it’s only the FIRST MONTH of my challenge and I’m already sucking at this challenge! Of course, I didn’t start the book until like last week and, if you’ve ever seen a copy of it, it’s massive.

And massively long. No joke, it takes me nearly 20 minutes (at least!) just to read a chapter. Normally, this is not normal. I keep comparing where I am in the book to where I’d be if watching the movie and I’m only like 10 minutes into the movie. Ugh!

Despite all that, I am LOVING GWTW! The writing is simply superb and beautiful, flowing and enticing. I keep getting myself lost in the Deep South, on plantations and at balls. I was really nervous I’d be bored with it, but I have yet to be bored. I love getting to know all my favorite (and not so favorite – I’m looking at you Ashley Wilkes) characters better, seeing them further developed and coming to life before my very eyes.

As a Southerner, I feel like this book should have been on my repertoire a long time ago.

One thing I’ve enjoyed (and please don’t hate me for this) is the usage of slavery in the book. Not usage as in using the slaves, but just the usage of the historical fact. Oh, I’m mucking it up, but whatever. Just go with me. It’s interesting to see the interactions between the slaves and their white owners – definitely not what I was expecting! While there is definitely a master-servant relationship between them, there really is a level of equality between them as well. It’s been interesting to see these slaves be the ones who boss their masters around, telling them what they should do in certain situations, etc. It has also been interesting seeing the racial and social prejudices among the slaves. For example, many of them look down pretty hard on poorer white people who don’t own slaves – calling them white trash and talking badly about them. Not really something I’ve ever come across before. I’m anxious to see how these themes continue throughout the book, especially once the war is over and slavery is abolished.

Another thing that has made me super amused are the social rules for women in the South. I think a lot of times today we think how women who dumb themselves down, always let the man be right, etc. are not enlightened women or whatever, but as I’ve been reading I’ve started thinking that maybe this is the way to go. Hear me out on this: you only have to act this way long enough to catch a husband, then you can do whatever you want. Ha! Just kidding.

Okay, that’s not really how it is in the book, but I really enjoyed seeing Scarlett try to deal with the rules of how women should act and how she wanted to act. How women basically let men think they were so superior when really it was the women who were because they knew exactly how to get the men to do whatever they wanted.

Favorite line so far: “Why does a girl have to be so silly to catch a husband?” – Scarlet O’Hara


8 thoughts on “Classics Challenge: January”

    1. You should do it with me! I feel like everyone else talks about classics all the time and I’ve read very few. I have tons of them on my shelves, but unfortunately I too am tempted by the young, fancy things. 🙂


  1. I would love to read GWTW! I love the movie and I think the size of the book is the only thing holding me back from diving in. Glad to hear you’re loving it though. The rules for Southern women in this story would be especially interesting to read about (though I suspect I’ll laugh out loud if they are anything close to the movie). Good luck with your challenge!


    1. The book is almost exactly like the movie. So far the differences have been extremely minimal. I would definitely try reading it if you love the movie! Just make sure to be prepared to invest some time!


  2. I’m named after this book and still have never read it. Or watched the movie. And I grew up in the south. Tara-Fail. Seems like you are liking it, though, and that it’s not boring you. Maybe I’ll tackle it soon…after I work through Wuthering Heights.


  3. I loved GWTW! I agree that the utilization of slaves in the book was interesting – while there were definitely a bunch of cruel masters back in the day it was intriguing to read about master-slave relationships that weren’t absolutely horrid. Also, I enjoyed reading about the social rules and regulations for women too. I hope that you will cry (in a good way) or at least be blown away by the ending like I was!


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