Throwback Thursday – this is a weekly event hosted by Jenny. It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book — how about even a classic! Leave a comment here or if you have a blog pls. leave your link…. throwbackthursdaygreen

My Throwback this week is:

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Synopsis:(From Wikipedia…It’s Big,the book is huge)

 

Part One

The novel opens at Tara, the O’Hara plantation in Georgia, with Scarlett O’Hara flirting idly with Brent and Stuart Tarleton, twin brothers who live on a nearby plantation. The twins are talking about the upcoming war, which is of no interest to Scarlett. According to the twins, the Yankees had already been shelled out of Fort Sumter “the day before yesterday” (which occurred on April 13, 1861), leaving the impression that the date of the opening is probably April 15, 1861. Amidst the chatter, the pair tell Scarlett that Ashley Wilkes, the man Scarlett is secretly in love with, is to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton, a plain and gentle lady from Atlanta. Scarlett hurries to find her father, Gerald O’Hara, who confirms that Ashley does intend to marry Melanie. He warns Scarlett that she and Ashley would make a terrible match and encourages her to consider the attentions of one of the other local beaux.

Scarlett is miserable until she concludes that Ashley does not know she is in love with him. She plots to make Ashley jealous by surrounding herself with men at the barbecue the next day at the Wilkes plantation of Twelve Oaks, then tell him that she prefers him above all the others. Among the fawning gentlemen are Melanie’s brother, Charles Hamilton, and Frank Kennedy, the beau of her sister, Suellen O’Hara. Things do not go according to plan. After Scarlett pulls Ashley into the library and confesses her love, Ashley says that he loves her, but he will still marry Melanie. The unreceived Rhett Butler, resting on a couch during the emotional scene, sees Scarlett throw a vase across the room in anger after Ashley leaves. Surprised by his presence, Scarlett tells Rhett that he is no gentleman, and Rhett responds by telling her that she is no lady. Rhett is impressed by her fire, thus cementing the saga that soon will unfold.

Later in the day, when the news of Jefferson Davis‘s call for troops arrives and as the men at the party excitedly leave to join the war, Scarlett impulsively accepts a marriage proposal from Charles Hamilton in an attempt to make Ashley jealous.

Both couples marry a day apart. Scarlett bitterly regrets her decision, but receives a warm welcome from Melanie, who now considers Scarlett to be her sister. Two months later, Charles dies of measles and pneumonia at a military camp, before he had an opportunity to fight on the battlefield, confirming Scarlett’s opinion of his unheroic weakness. Scarlett is not only a widow but she is a new mother, giving birth to a baby boy named Wade Hampton whom she cares little for and pays no attention to. Her contempt for motherhood is equaled only by her interminable impatience with the customary protocol for Southern women in mourning.

Her lamentations include the fact that she is forced to dress in all-black and she cannot go to any parties. Scarlett finds, to her disgust, that she is living quietly at home, with limited social interactions like an old widow. She is more distressed over her boredom and new motherhood than at Charles’ death. Her mother, Ellen O’Hara, believing Scarlett to be pining away from a broken heart, sends her, little Wade and Prissy (a young slave of the O’Haras) on trips to visit family in an effort to revive her spirits. Scarlett comes back sooner than is expected from these trips; it is common for these trips to last many months, but her early returns are attributed to her broken heart rather than the boredom and her impatience with the mourning customs she is forced to adhere to. It is not until after returning from a trip to Savannah where she was visiting her mother’s sisters that she decides to visit Atlanta. Scarlett has been receiving letters from Melanie and Charles’ elderly aunt Aunt Pittypat and Melanie who are living together in Atlanta. These letters beg Scarlett to come live with them as the two women are all alone and would love to see Charles’ only son, Wade. Scarlett takes immediately to the hustle and bustle of Atlanta and finds Aunt Pittypat to be an easy enough pushover. Even though she is contemptuous of Melanie, the lure of Atlanta proves a fair trade for Scarlett.

Part Two

At the bazaar, Melanie and Scarlett donate their gold wedding rings for the cause. Rhett pays for the return of Melanie’s ring, and she then sees Rhett as a perfect gentleman. Against the background of war, Scarlett stays in Atlanta and enjoys the company of Rhett. He ostensibly calls on Aunt Pittypat, as widows cannot properly receive male callers. Aunt Pittypat is uncomfortable with Rhett’s presence, but Melanie firmly declares that he is a good man. Rhett’s sharp wit and sarcastic charm infuriate and beguile Scarlett, although she continues to carry a torch for Ashley. When Ashley comes home for Christmas in 1863, Scarlett becomes acutely aware of the privileges Melanie holds as his wife. The day Ashley leaves, Scarlett again reveals her feelings to him, hoping Ashley will break down and allow himself to reveal he loves her, too.

Ashley has a more important matter to discuss with Scarlett. Sensing the end of the war and the fall of the South, he makes Scarlett promise that she will look after Melanie and see his family through the upcoming crisis in his absence. Scarlett blindly agrees to his promise. As Ashley heads for the door, Scarlett clings to him desperately and they share a passionate, forbidden kiss. Scarlett sobs that she loves him and that she only married Charles to hurt him. Ashley says nothing and wrenches himself from her grasp. He hurries from the house and away from Scarlett.

As Melanie has hoped, Ashley has left her with a child. Scarlett is none too excited about the news but this shock pales in comparison with the fear and dread that ensues when word comes that Ashley is missing, perhaps dead. Scarlett and Melanie’s fears are somewhat relieved when Rhett Butler pulls strings in order bring the frantic women information on Ashley. Rhett relays that Ashley is in one of the most infamous Yankee prison camps, and Scarlett’s fears mount as she thinks about the starvation and hardships Ashley must be enduring at the hands of the Yankees.

Part Three

The tide of war turns against the South. When the Yankees finally begin their siege of Atlanta, the city evacuates. Aunt Pittypat flees to family in Macon, while Scarlett, Melanie, Wade and Prissy remain in the house. In the nearly deserted town, Rhett comes to see Scarlett and asks her to become his mistress. She refuses because she sees nothing in it for herself except a “passel of brats”.

Dr. Meade forbids Melanie and Scarlett to leave Atlanta, as Melanie is about to give birth. Scarlett delivers Melanie’s baby with only the help of Prissy, as everyone has fled or is too busy caring for wounded soldiers to spare time to help. After a drawn out and damaging birthing, Melanie is nearly dead from blood loss. Scarlett goes outside for air as Prissy bathes the infant. A soldier walks by, informing Scarlett that the army is leaving Atlanta.

Scarlett sends Prissy to find Rhett. He arrives to assist them but the best he can provide is a broken-down horse and a dilapidated wagon stolen from the Army. He carts the weakened Melanie, her infant son Beau, Prissy, Wade, and Scarlett out of Atlanta. In a fit of conscience, he abandons them on the road to Tara to turn back and fight for the South. Before he leaves, he kisses Scarlett and tells her that he loves her, but she angrily pushes him away.

Arriving at Tara, Scarlett finds the house undamaged, the cotton and crops burned, most of the slaves run off, her mother dead, her father demented, and her two sisters sick with typhoid. The reins of authority are thrust into her hands. Forced to take up “slave work” and bouts of near starvation, Scarlett realizes her compassion and loyalty to Tara. When a lone Yankee soldier arrives looking to loot and assault Scarlett, she shoots him. Melanie, still weak, comes running with Charles’ sword, but it is too heavy for her to lift. Nonetheless, Scarlett feels the beginnings of comradeship with her sister-in-law. The two loot the dead soldier’s pockets and knapsack before swearing each other to secrecy about his death. They bury him under the arbor.

Months later, news reaches Tara that the war is over and the Confederacy dissolved. Soldiers begin straggling home. On their way, some stop at Tara for food and hospitality. Comrades bring a wounded soldier named Will Benteen, whom Carreen nurses back to health. Benteen remains at Tara after he recovers, takes on more responsibility, and takes Scarlett’s heavy load onto his own shoulders. Suellen’s beau Frank Kennedy asks Scarlett for her sister’s hand in marriage and Scarlett gives her consent.

The only word of Ashley is that he was in a Yankee prison for the last year of the war and a letter to Melanie telling her that he is on his way. One day, he appears coming up the long road towards Tara. Melanie and Scarlett both rush to greet him, but Will stops Scarlett, saying, “Don’t ruin the moment.” Scarlett reluctantly hangs back, but is euphoric over Ashley’s return.

[edit] Part Four

Will returns from town with the news that the Union has raised taxes on Tara to $300. Dejected, Scarlett seeks comfort from Ashley as he chops wood. She laments her life at Tara and asks him to run away with her. When Scarlett cries, Ashley embraces her. Telling her to stop crying, Ashley kisses her and says that he loves her. He tells her his honor will not allow him to leave Melanie and their child. Scarlett says that if she doesn’t have him, nothing is left for her. Ashley picks up the red dirt clay from the ground, presses it to her skin, and reminds her she still has Tara.

As Scarlett returns to the house, Jonas Wilkerson, former overseer of Tara, and his wife Emmie Slattery arrive. Wilkerson wants to buy Tara, thinking that Scarlett does not have the money to pay the taxes. Scarlett orders them to leave. Wilkerson threatens to buy Tara once she and her family are evicted for being unable to pay the taxes.

Frantic to save Tara and anxious to keep Jonas and Emmie out, Scarlett goes to Atlanta to beg Rhett for money, willing to offer herself to him as his mistress to save her home and family. By asking Mammy to make her a new dress out of her late mother’s draperies, Scarlett is able to feign wealth to Rhett and pretends an interest in him. Rhett buys it until he sees her hands, which suggest the back-breaking work she has been doing. He announces that he couldn’t give her the money even if he wanted to. She says that she hopes he gets hanged and storms out in the rain.

Upon leaving the jail, she runs into Frank Kennedy, now a successful store owner. In desperation, Scarlett manipulates Frank to believe that an impatient Suellen is to marry someone else. Frank, saddened by Suellen’s supposed defection and unable to resist Scarlett’s charms, marries her and gives her the tax money. After Rhett gets out of jail, he lends her more so that she can buy a sawmill, with the promise that she will not use the money to help Ashley Wilkes.

To her dismay, Scarlett becomes pregnant with Frank’s child. She earns the wrath of Atlanta society’s “Old Guard” when she appears pregnant in public and succeeding in business, although she compromises by agreeing not to be seen outside the house whilst pregnant after a certain date. Her daughter is named Ella Lorena, a reference to the Civil War Era song Lorena (Joseph Philbrick Webster, the composer of the song, had an interest in a girl named Ella at the time of writing, in addition to the title “Lorena”). Ella was named after her grandmother, Ellen.

Scarlett receives word from Tara that her father, Gerald, has died. When she returns to Tara for the funeral, Will tells her about the circumstances of his death. Suellen had tried to persuade a disoriented Gerald to sign the Ironclad Oath (to the Union government) for a fee. Briefly lucid, Gerald realizes her intentions, flies into a rage and disowns Suellen. In an attempt to jump a fence with his horse, he falls and breaks his neck. The community despises Suellen for her part in Gerald’s death. Scarlett, struggling with her family’s poverty, quietly agrees with her.

Despite his love for Carreen, Will announces his intention to marry Suellen to assuage the community’s animosity toward her. Carreen, unable to recover from the death of Brent Tarleton at Gettysburg, enters a convent.

After Gerald’s funeral, Scarlett plots to stop Ashley from going North to find work. By faking a flood of tears, she persuades Melanie to compel Ashley to help her with the mill as a way of repaying Scarlett for evacuating her and Beau from a falling Atlanta. Thus, Scarlett manipulates Ashley into returning to Atlanta to run her sawmill.

Scarlett regularly drives alone to and from the sawmill, despite being warned against it by acquaintances. One day, she is assaulted by a poor white man and his black companion as she drives through the woods near a shantytown. Her former slave, Big Sam, appears and fights off the attackers. To avenge the attack, Frank, Ashley, and local men (part of the Ku Klux Klan), plan to raid the shantytown. Local law enforcement officers find out and inform Rhett of their plans over a game of cards. During the raid, Ashley is injured and Frank is killed.

To save the survivors from being hanged, Rhett persuades Belle Watling, the local madam, to fabricate a phony alibi by letting the survivors into her brothel through the back door and pretending to throw them out the front door in full sight of the public. She threatens her prostitutes that she will beat them if they don’t tell the authorities that the men were there all evening. The men are furious that Rhett humiliated them like this, but Rhett earns the admiration of Melanie Wilkes for saving their lives and Caroline Meade silently agrees.

Following Frank’s funeral, Rhett unceremoniously proposes to Scarlett, wanting to marry her before she marries someone else. Belle Watling hears that Melanie wishes to pay a call on her in order to thank her for saving Ashley’s life on the night of the raid. To forestall the visit, which would scandalize Atlanta society, Belle stops by Melanie’s house in a closed carriage to see Melanie. Melanie offers Belle her friendship in return. Scarlett remains disapproving of Belle Watling, even after her part in saving her beloved Ashley’s life.

 Part Five

Scarlett marries Rhett in 1868 and finds her marriage surprisingly pleasant. Other than refusing to help Ashley Wilkes, Rhett spoils her. Scarlett spends time with newly rich Yankees, portrayed as having few scruples. Scarlett builds a mansion and spends lavishly. The Old Guard cut Scarlett and Rhett out of society for keeping company with Yankees and flaunting their wealth.

Only Melanie’s undying loyalty keeps Scarlett in the fold at all. Scarlett learns that she is pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. While they name the infant Eugenia Victoria (for Queen Victoria and French Empress Eugénie de Montijo), Melanie, while talking to Rhett, mentions the child’s eyes are as blue as the Bonnie Blue flag, inadvertently creating the lasting nickname of Bonnie Blue Butler. Rhett is immensely proud of the child and spoils her unashamedly.

Ashley mentions he hates the thought of Rhett’s hands on Scarlett’s body and she feels chagrined at the ruin of her figure. Not wanting to further betray her love for Ashley, Scarlett informs Rhett she does not want to have any more children and she will no longer share his bed. Rhett becomes bitterly angry, but does nothing to change her mind. He tells her that “the world is full of beds – and most of the beds are full of women.”

Now rejected by Scarlett, Rhett turns to their daughter Bonnie for comfort. Rhett decides Bonnie should have every desire and turns to winning over Atlanta. He lavishes Bonnie with the love and affection he intended to give to his wife.

In April 1871, Melanie plans a surprise birthday party for Ashley. Scarlett goes to the mill after Melanie asks her to stall him. She and Ashley chat about old times at Twelve Oaks. He hugs her in an attempt to console her, because she is overwhelmed by the memories and hates to look back at the past. However, India Wilkes, Mrs. Elsing, and Archie witness and misinterpret this embrace, all suspecting Scarlett’s true feelings for Ashley. They eagerly spread the rumour. Later that evening, Rhett, having heard from Archie, drags Scarlett out of bed and takes her to the party in her most flamboyant dress. Incapable of believing anything bad about her beloved sister-in-law, Melanie stands by Scarlett’s side so that all will know she believes the gossip to be false.

At home later that night, Scarlett finds Rhett drunk. Blind with jealousy, he tells Scarlett he loves her and could kill her to make her forget Ashley. Picking her up, he carries her up the stairs and the two make passionate, uninhibited love. Scarlett wakes up alone the next morning, eager to see her husband. Rhett stays away as he is horrified at his behavior,and worried that he is mistaken and Scarlett doesn’t love him, returning three days later to inform Scarlett that he is leaving with Bonnie for an extended trip. Atlanta society chooses sides between India and Scarlett. Melanie continues to support Scarlett and rejects India, her husband’s own sister.

Scarlett discovers she is pregnant again. For the first time, she is glad. In July 1871, Rhett returns after three months. After he rebuffs Scarlett’s attempts at reconciliation, she tells him she does not want the baby. Hurt, Rhett scornfully says, “Cheer up. Maybe you’ll have a miscarriage.” Enraged, Scarlett tries to attack him, but he dodges her slap. She is thrown off balance and can’t prevent herself from falling down the stairs. She suffers a miscarriage.

Rhett, frantic with guilt, sits in his room drinking to the point of oblivion, convinced that he has killed Scarlett. When Melanie visits to tell him Scarlett is doing better, he cries to Melanie about his jealousy. He refrains from telling Melanie about Scarlett’s true feelings for Ashley.

Scarlett goes to Tara to recuperate with Wade and Ella. After she recovers, Rhett tricks Scarlett into selling the sawmills to Ashley. Rhett spends his time edging Bonnie back into Southern society.

After her fourth birthday (by most estimations sometime in the summer of 1873), Bonnie dies while trying to jump her horse, ‘Mr. Butler’, the same way as her grandfather Gerald O’Hara did. Scarlett blames Rhett, Rhett blames himself, and they refuse to see each other. Scarlett regrets what she said and desperately wants to see him, but a chasm has formed between the two. They continue living together as strangers passing in the halls.

While Scarlett is away at Marietta with Wade and Ella, she receives an urgent telegram from Rhett that Melanie is gravely ill. Scarlett rushes back to Atlanta to learn that Melanie is dying from complications of a miscarriage. After having Beau, she was warned by doctors not to have any more children, but Melanie always wanted more children and became pregnant. Rhett drops Scarlett off at the Wilkes home and leaves.

On her deathbed, Melanie tells Scarlett to watch out for Ashley and to be good to Rhett because he loves her. Scarlett goes to Ashley to find strength to help him in his grief, but she finds someone more adrift than she is. She realizes that she never really loved Ashley. She had been attracted to Ashley because he represented the unattainable, which was made more potent because he embodied the Southern “noble knight” ideal that had been romanticized throughout her childhood.

She rushes home through the mist to share her revelation with Rhett, now drained of his love for Scarlett. He rejects her overtures and tells her he is leaving her, that he had already planned to before Scarlett left for Marietta. Scarlett cries, “If you go, what shall I do?” Rhett replies with the famous line, “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” (The movie inserted the word “frankly.”)

He goes up the stairs to prepare to leave Atlanta. Earlier in the conversation he told Scarlett that at age 45 he was confronted by desire to recapture what he viewed as the gentler pace of past. He specifically raised the possibility of returning to his hometown of Charleston. Devastated by her realization of true love and the consequences of her past selfishness, Scarlett decides to go back to Tara. She is sure she can think of a solution. She still believes Rhett will return to her if she tries to reconcile. The book ends with Scarlett’s proclamation: “After all, tomorrow is another day!

I just love the book….It’s classic and timeless…….

 

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