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slaytonf

Gone With the Wind: Margaret Mitchell's Cautionary Tale to the south.

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18 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I'm still sincerely interested in your POV as it relates to Rhett leaving Scarlett at the end of the film,  and if you think Rhett made a mistake.    

OK, I'll take the bait....

Rhett has humored Scarlett's silly self centered attitude hoping she'd eventually forget about her childish crush on Ashley. Rhett could always see Ashley is too weak a man for strong willed, spirited Scarlett.

Scarlett has finally realized -even she as a woman- is braver & stronger than milk toast Ashley. She also realizes her admiration for Rhett's determination, his strength, sense of humor-everything- and realizes Rhett is truly the right man for her.

Too late!

Yes, it IS too late, Rhett resents being made a fool while waiting for her to come around.  It's pretty clear Scarlett turned off the  n o o k i e  spigot after Bonnie's death, Rhett had to console himself at Belle Watling's. 

Rhett's tired of being second banana in Scarlett's heart and with Melanie's death figures she'll embarrass all of them by running to Ashley, despite all Rhett's done to show he's the better man.

 

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Let's face it. If Rhett hadn't left Scarlett there would be a lot less audience respect for him. He had simply taken too much self absorbed behaviour from her. It's no wonder he no longer gave a damn, which, when he said it, was a declaration of emancipation.

 

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5 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

OK, I'll take the bait....

Rhett has humored Scarlett's silly self centered attitude hoping she'd eventually forget about her childish crush on Ashley. Rhett could always see Ashley is too weak a man for strong willed, spirited Scarlett.

Scarlett has finally realized -even she as a woman- is braver & stronger than milk toast Ashley. She also realizes her admiration for Rhett's determination, his strength, sense of humor-everything- and realizes Rhett is truly the right man for her.

Too late!

Yes, it IS too late, Rhett resents being made a fool while waiting for her to come around.  It's pretty clear Scarlett turned off the  n o o k i e  spigot after Bonnie's death, Rhett had to console himself at Belle Watling's. 

Rhett's tired of being second banana in Scarlett's heart and with Melanie's death figures she'll embarrass all of them by running to Ashley, despite all Rhett's done to show he's the better man.

 

Thanks for the reply.      I understand why Rhett had had enough,   but if Scarlett had really come to terms with her feeling for Ashley (that they have always been misguided and he wasn't the man for her),  and that Rhett was,,,,     Rhett had already invested so much,    he should have stuck around to see if Scarlett had really become the women he always desired.

 

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14 hours ago, TomJH said:

Let's face it. If Rhett hadn't left Scarlett there would be a lot less audience respect for him. He had simply taken too much self absorbed behaviour from her. It's no wonder he no longer gave a damn, which, when he said it, was a declaration of emancipation.

 

And to think, it only took about eighty posts to get around to discussing the point of my thread.

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11 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

And to think, it only took about eighty posts to get around to discussing the point of my thread.

Oh, okay then slayton. I'll go re-read your original post then...

Quote

This is here mostly to test how many Gone/Wind threads this site can support.

I've always admired the movie.  Victor Fleming is a good director.  And Viviene Leigh delivered a performance for the ages.  Her achievement made harder, not easier by the role being one of the great characters in literature.   But people in the south mostly looked past her warning of the dangers from obsessing over a dead past that never was.  Scarlett O'Hara symbolizes the south, and what happens to her traces what happens to the south before, during, and after the war.  She is a strong-willed, intelligent, clear-headed person.  She knows what she wants when she sees it, goes after it, and gets it.  Rhett Butler is the man most suited for her, so close to her in intellect, temperament, and savvy.  As a pair they represent the new south, its future, risen from the ashes--or were supposed to be.  But she has a controlling irrational obsession for Ashley Wilkes (the weak enervated end-product of a defunct society) that clouds her judgement, leading to the destruction of her marriage and happiness.  She recognizes this finally, but too late.  But does she learn from this?  No, she only substitutes one irrational obsession with another--that she will get Rhett Butler back.  But he's not coming back.  If someone even hates you maybe there is some passion left, but if they don't give a damn, the ashes are cold, baby.  Scarlett's idea of returning to Tara is another of her controlling irrational obsessions.  Far from being a source of strength, Tara since the end of the war has only been a purgatory of toil and a dead weight.  The city is where her great success was, but she abandons it.  Even if her goal of getting Rhett Butler back is more than just futile self-deception, Tara is the last place to do it from.  He is a man of the city, commerce, industry.  Her return to Tara signals a final retreat into a delusional dream world of passive hopefulness and increasing detachment from reality.  I would not like to see her twenty years after the end of the story.

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Oh, I dunno. I don't think she looks all that bad twenty years hence, if ya ask ME...

1961.jpg

(...oh sure, maybe a little baggy around the eyes, but not too bad overall)  ;)

LOL

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56 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

I was thinking more something like this:

image_thumb1.png?w=226&h=282

Yeah, I thought of using that shot of Vivien from Streetcar at first for my above little joke, but then found the one I would use because her garb and especially the bonnet looked more 19th century than it did in this shot of her. I'm not sure though which film it was from.

And besides, she looks more forlorn in the Blanche shot you posted (and which would of course support your above contention that Scarlett would have ended up being  somewhat pitiful 20 year hence) and so I used the one I did also because she looks happier and thus still somewhat approachably attractive.

(...or in other words like I said, "Not too bad")

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I see Blanche DuBois as the natural evolution of Scarlett O'Hara.  Mebbe so did Tennessee Williams.

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2 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

I see Blanche DuBois as the natural evolution of Scarlett O'Hara.  Mebbe so did Tennessee Williams.

Oh yeah. I'm sure T.W. had this in mind too.

The faded southern belle whose best days were behind her.

(...and who was/is the most notable example of a southern belle in literature?...why, Miss Scarlett, of course)

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All this talk about Margaret Mitchell and GONE WITH THE WIND . . .

Let's talk about Hugh Gravitt shall we? 

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6 hours ago, Dargo said:

1. But she has a controlling irrational obsession for Ashley Wilkes (snipped)

2. No, she only substitutes one irrational obsession with another--that she will get Rhett Butler back.  (snipped)

3. Scarlett's idea of returning to Tara is another of her controlling irrational obsessions.  Far from being a source of strength, Tara since the end of the war has only been a purgatory of toil and a dead weight. 

(not Dargo, but the OP)

1. I wouldn't call Scarlett's obsession for Ashley Wilkes controlling or irrational. She grew up with the hope of some day marrying the handsome, genteel boy next door that everyone respected, while uniting their plantations/wealth. This was typical thinking for the day, especially since she was also taught "no man could resist her".

Personally, I love the scene at the party where she overhears the other girls talking about her. And I love when Rhett says, "you think you're the cutest trick in shoe leather". 

2. Just like life experience bursts her Ashley bubble, Scarlett's life will go on & she'll realize she doesn't need Rhett to be happy either. She'll go on without him, she's a survivor and growing up emotionally. "Tomorrow is another day" makes me think she's maturing, realizing all her tomorrows will be different than that "old life" that's thankfully gwtw.

3. It may seem irrational to us, but Tara is Scarlett's home meaning survival; safe shelter, stability and her only source of sustenance/income. Tara represents land- remember her Daddy said, "It's the only thing that lasts". I love when she throws dirt in Victor Jorey's face.

One of my favorite quaint lines is when Scarlett is a widow at 17. She refuses to wear black saying, "I'll just scare people", something people today just don't understand.  

Brought up in the 1970's, I wasn't allowed to wear black clothing until I was over 21. Although I wore some black as an adult, it was never casual, only formal dress. And to this day I am surprised seeing  even little toddlers dressed in black. 

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You post is a good example of how most people view Gone/Wind, that is they see what they are looking for and not what is there.

1.  Scarlett's preoccupation with Wilkes persists despite all the evidence to the contrary.  It persists to the point of ruining her marriage with Rhett Butler.  That is irrational and obsessive.

2.  One of her determinations after Rhett Butler leaves is that she will get him back.  Nothing indicates at the end that she is looking past him.  Her expression of "tomorrow is another day" is an indication of her retreat into passive wishfulness.  This is a complete revolution from her earlier vigorous and active pursuit of her goals.  Scarlett had always acted immediately on events. 

3.  Scarlett's successes come from the city and her mercantile and lumber businesses.  It is her marriage to Frank Kennedy that saves Tara from being auctioned off for taxes.  It is Rhett's and Scarlett's wealth that is made from the city that is used to renovate Tara to its pre-war state.  The voices from the past Scarlett hears are siren songs her mind calls on to justify her abandonment of reality.  Since the end of the war Tara has not been of source of strength, sustenance, or security for her.  She vomits eating food from its soil.  She is the one who has to protect it from intruders.  It is her strength of character that revives Tara to provide a minimal sustenance.  It is her own personality, intelligence, and drive that has been the source of her success.

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