Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three Loves Now Gone With the Wind

Valentine's Week

What better time to talk about love and the skillful pen splashing heart-throbbing, romantic scenes across the page?

Today we'll peek at Margaret Mitchell's award winning characters: Scarlett O'hara, Rhett Butler, and the beloved Ashley from her novel, Gone with the Wind

We'll see how romance does not come in a one size fits all category yet still can thrill the reader.

Scarlett loved Ashley

Mitchell wove Scarlett's love for Ashley throughout her book. Scarlett could have had the love from any man in her town. Her seventeen inch waist accented a beauty unmatched by any other girl and her spirited personality enticed every male to become the victor in marriage. When she discovered Ashley had proposed to Melanie, Scarlett's raging jealousy flared. "Oh Ashley I love you. Tell me you love me." Would Ashley leave Melanie for Scarlett? We wonder and perhaps hope to the very last scene.

Ashley loved Scarlett but married Melanie
It doesn't take long to realize Ashley's "love" for Scarlett is lust. His honor forces him to remain true to Melanie, yet he finds himself alone with Scarlett  and caught in her lustful snare several times. Mitchell didn't need intimate bedroom scenes to paint a driving love scene. The characters drove the point with passionate conversations.

Rhett Butler loved Scarlett
Despite Rhett's shady past, he found himself genuinely in love with Scarlett. "You need kissing badly." He determined to take care of her since no one else could. Rhett coped with Scarlett's lack of love for him, but he wouldn't accept her constant desire for Ashley.  

In the end...

Scarlett discovers her love for Rhett 
Scarlett sobs as Rhett tells her he is leaving. She gazes at his determined face and begs for him to stay. "I only know that I love you." Scarlett follows him to the door. "Rhett, Rhett. Where shall I go? What shall I do?" As Rhett walks away Scarlett sobs, "I can't let him go. There must be some way to bring him back." Will she?

Mitchell painted love with different colors drawing readers into the harsh realities found in American history. Now that's a history lesson!

Are you painting love with different colors in your writings?  

This discussion makes me think of God's love for us.  His love is genuine, never wavering, always true. 
Romantic love is thrilling to read 
and hopefully experience; 
God's love is a blessing to receive
It will never leave.


Julia M. Reffner said...

I love the different colors of the characters' love stories and bringing it all back to God's love. Great post, Mary!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Whew, now that's what I call a love triangle! :)

Angie Dicken said...

My favorite movie of all time! (Ashamed to say I haven't read the book! :( ) I discover Scarletts, Melanies, Ashleys, Rhetts in real person all the time. Timeless characters! :) I love the idea of love with different colors. Hmm, I will think of that next time I am brewing a plot! :)

Casey said...

There were SO MANY emotions in that movie! They really string the viewer along, definitely makes a good example of what it takes to take your reader on a roller coaster!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I suppose if I thought about it, there are different colors for all types of characters. That's what makes each story unique despite following a pattern (i.e. there are many stories similar to Robinson Crusoe, Cinderella, etc.)
Thanks, Julia:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

The sad part is, no one really ended up with the love they wanted. Yet, we as readers felt satisfied. Didn't we talk about that recently here on the Alley?
Thanks, Sarah

Mary Vee Writer said...

I was talking about these characters with my daughter who is a senior in college. She made it crystal clear to me that the Melanie of the movie is whimpy, but the Melanie in the book has a stronger character. I read this book a long time ago, maybe I need to go back and check out the color of Melanie's character inthe book.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Wouldn't be nice if all history books were written in this engaging way. Did you know Margaret Mitchell spent 8 months confirming every civil war fact before it was published? (love trivia)

Angie Dicken said...

Huh, I really need to read the book...or watch the movie again. I always thought of Melanie as the ideal Christian woman...who looks only on things that are lovely, and is non-judgmental... but it was annoying how she was so oblivious to Scarlett at times! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

So true for me too. But maybe that's why my daughter thought Melanie in the movie was whimpy. The movie Melanie was blind to Scarlett and overly forgiving, almost unnatural.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I've always been dissatisfied with how that movie ended. I always had to continue it on in my mind and have Rhett and Scarlett get together in the end. Gotta have my HEA!

Mary Vee Writer said...

For those who feel like Sherrinda, and I'm sure there are many who prefer the HEA endings, why was Gone with the Wind so loved?

Pepper said...

VIVID Characters.

and Clark Gable...of course :-)