Is it possible to like Gone With The Wind while still realizing the often Mythic Image of the South it Presents?

Gone With The Wind (1939) can be seen as a good movie. But, at the same time, it presents an image of the South which was never true in the first place and which presents slavery in almost passing reference ways. There is this time before the Civil War where, we are to believe, that the South had an ideal existence. Seeing the movie from the present, makes one quite aware of what is left out and glossed over and makes one want to go "Wait! Stop! Go back!" How can we and should evaluate the movie today?

  • It is important as always to remember the framework of literature, that it is a fiction and GWTW was always framed as a historical romance that drew on some elements of the civil war, but largely was about the journey of Scarlet O'Hara through a changing period. It is a story about the dangers of unrequited love and unrealistic ideals, but also about strength and resolution. In many ways the representation of slavery in the film/book needs to be balanced against the fact it is told from the perspective of a woman in that period, most of which had the same rights of slaves in the time. Scarlet is also an unreliable narrator as she perceives the events around her from a very self-centered lens. However, all in all it is still an interesting text to discuss. – SaraiMW 2 years ago

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