After hearing so much about her, I have finally met Scarlett O’Hara:
Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm… But for all the modesty of her spreading skirts, the demureness of hair netted smoothly into a chignon and the quietness of small white hands folded in her lap, her true self was poorly concealed. The green eyes in the carefully sweet face were turbulent, willful, lusty with life, distinctly at variance with her decorous demeanor. Her manners had been imposed upon her by her mother’s gentle admonitions and the sterner discipline of her mammy; her eyes were her own.
And I love her. She’s so rebellious and strong-willed, exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my last post! And her strength, instead of being sacrificed to pleasing others and being nice, is allowed to come out in full force, helping her to survive the Civil War. She’s a wonderful anti-heroine, passionate, angry, determined, selfish, vain, flirtatious, vivacious and full of life. She refuses to be weak and passive.
I’ve avoided reading Gone With the Wind until now because as a Canadian, I’m not the biggest American history fan. Living in the quieter, politer northern country, I tend to quietly look down on American aggressiveness. But both of our countries were settled by hard working, hard living pioneers and that indomitable nature, ‘that cannot be subdued or overcome’ (dictionary definition), is in me too. My mother’s father’s father was from Prussia, a cavalry officer who went west. (To Saskatchewan, the prairie province I am heading back to as well.) It’s reminding me too of the excitement I used to feel reading a series of American historical fiction as a teenager, all the strong-willed adventure and romance. I used to love reading about pioneers going west in their covered wagons (cowgirl was a possible career option when I was a kid) and anyone on brave adventures, maybe it’s time to read more books like that again.
And today our move is finally starting as we pack up a truck. I’ve already packed 30 boxes of books (plus of course we had to keep several piles out for ourselves, since we’re moving most of our stuff out to Regina now with the help of my husband’s parents and then coming back to my parent’s place for my brother’s wedding) and they are quite heavy and my back is rather sore. And there are so many other odds and ends to pack as well. I’m glad to be reading a book about a strong woman right now, as I need the encouragement to be strong myself! Gone With the Wind is also just a great summer read, melodramatic at points but so much fun.