First of all, as much as I personally trust Wikipedia, I would like to urge you to not trust Wikipedia. I go on there to get the book covers all the time and right underneath this picture was the information that Margaret Mitchell originally wrote the book in Japanese. I can just picture the blonde-girl-I-hated who was in all of my English classes raising her nasty bitten fingernails and going, “Actually, Margaret Mitchell was Asian.” Nice one, assholes. You didn’t get me this time, but next time, you probably will.
So anyway. I have been thinking about this book all day, because I read something this morning in New York magazine that called Gone With the Wind “kitsch Tolstoy.” And I was like, wait, that sounds perfect, but is it really like that? and then I realized that–despite the fact that I have read the ridiculous 1991 sequel Scarlett several times; yes, I am trashy–I have only ever read Gone With the Wind once. In fourth grade.
This is what I remember:
How pretty Tara, the plantation, seemed to be; Scarlett being obsessed with whether or not she could show her bosom at a casual morning barbecue; the description of her dresses in her first scene that made me lust after the antebellum South just for its fabric; stupid, milquetoast, gentlemanly Ashley, whom I hated so much and can probably blame for a decent amount of my being attracted to assholes; the totally terrible part where Scarlett tries to fool Rhett into thinking she’s rich by making a dress out of curtains but she can’t hide her work-hardened hands, and in her humiliation marries that terrible Frank person, who may not have had red hair in the book but who embodies everything people make fun of about gingers; how spoiled Bonnie (Scarlett and Rhett’s daughter) is and how much I wanted to be her and have her pony.
That is literally all I remember. No war, no plantation, no hard work, no I will never go hungry again. Just bitches and hoes and pretty dresses.