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Gone With The Wind.
April 16, 2011
4:27 pm
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TinaII2None
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Anyanka said:

Not until it came on the tv in the 70's.She and my sis watched it with wine and chocolate and a big box of tissues..she now has a copy of it


Oh good for her!!!

I threw GWTW in my DVD player a bit ago while i've been answering my email — and these posts — and I had to pause a moment and just watch. To this day I am still stunned by the cinematography of every scene and how it was so painstakingly and lovingly done, and that's even from the moment when we see the SELZNICK INTERNATIONAL PICTURES sign. There are even scenes of Tara — the rolling fields and the horses out grazing — that remind me of the horse farms you see in Eastern Kentucky.

I even noticed something I hadn't in all my dozens of viewings. There is a kitten lounging under the sundial at Twelve Oaks and I'm pretty sure Charles Hamilton serves Scarlett a slice of cake with caramel frosting!  

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 18, 2011
10:16 am
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MegC
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Ok, I've started re-reading GWTW and I'm a few chapters into Part 2.  So, count me in, I reckon.

Also, as I was putting away some books this afternoon (books, I might add, that were still in boxes.  How long have we lived here now?  Two months?), I happened to run across my Official Gone with the Wind Companion by Stephen J Spignesi.  Chock full of trivia, photos, quotes, and much much more!!

Hi, my name is Megan, and I am a Gone with the Wind nerd.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 18, 2011
12:25 pm
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Anyanka
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well, I've finished it.Some of the attitudes were a bit disturbing especially as I've heard them spoken by my mother and her contemparies with regard to marriage, anyway.

 

Scarlett lives up to her name, very firey. I loved the cyanism of Rhett. I so wanted to smack Ashley, he was soo wet. Melanie could have been fleshed out but since we are seeing her through Scarlett's eyes I guess we wouldn't.

 

It's a very good read though I'm not sure if I'd read it again. I'm going to looking for the DVD at the video shop.

It's always bunnies.

April 18, 2011
3:59 pm
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TinaII2None
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MegC said:

Ok, I've started re-reading GWTW and I'm a few chapters into Part 2.  So, count me in, I reckon.

Also, as I was putting away some books this afternoon (books, I might add, that were still in boxes.  How long have we lived here now?  Two months?), I happened to run across my Official Gone with the Wind Companion by Stephen J Spignesi.  Chock full of trivia, photos, quotes, and much much more!!

Hi, my name is Megan, and I am a Gone with the Wind nerd.


Well, my copy arrived on Friday but the new delivery company Amazon is using now didn't advise me until today. So it's in my greedy little hands and I'm ready to start while I'm commuting tonight. I flipped through it and saw lines I'd forgotten, lines that were almost new to me, lines that made me cringe (like Negroes not being able to think on their own unless a white man told them) and preparing to say hello again to old friends. It'll be nice reading along with all of you, sharing ideas and opinions and discussing things that I used to with my grandmother and mother.

I think I gave a friend of mine Official Gone with the Wind Companion as a birthday gift once upon a time.

Hi, my name is Tina and I am a Gone with the Wind nerd too.

And a Godfather nerd.

And a Star Wars nerd if we're talking the original movie and The Empire Strikes Back. Laugh

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 18, 2011
4:24 pm
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TinaII2None
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Anyanka said:

well, I've finished it.Some of the attitudes were a bit disturbing especially as I've heard them spoken by my mother and her contemparies with regard to marriage, anyway.

 

Scarlett lives up to her name, very firey. I loved the cyanism of Rhett. I so wanted to smack Ashley, he was soo wet. Melanie could have been fleshed out but since we are seeing her through Scarlett's eyes I guess we wouldn't.

 

It's a very good read though I'm not sure if I'd read it again. I'm going to looking for the DVD at the video shop.


Wow! When did you start it?

It's been ages since I last read it so it'll be a nice return.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 18, 2011
7:00 pm
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Anyanka
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I'm a SAHM, so I have a reasonable amount of spare time. I started last Monday so it took me a week or so to finish up.

It's always bunnies.

April 19, 2011
7:42 am
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TinaII2None
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Anyanka said:

I'm a SAHM, so I have a reasonable amount of spare time. I started last Monday so it took me a week or so to finish up.


Anyanka said:

well, I've finished it.Some of the attitudes were a bit disturbing especially as I've heard them spoken by my mother and her contemparies with regard to marriage, anyway.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

I just finished the scene between Scarlett and her father at Tara, when Gerald verifies the engagement of Ashley and Melanie. I had forgotten the detail Mitchell laid out in describing the Wilkes family — queer is what Gerald called it, as in they were a family of oddballs. He talks about them running up North to attend the opera and going to Europe to see oil paintings. He knows in the end that Scarlett would never be happy with someone like Ashley and she replies “I can change him.” LOL Good grief — there are women that still think that. But I had forgotten that Ashley did appear to be courting Scarlett in one manner of speaking: escorting her to parties and dances and balls and such; taking her riding…but he just never tells her those magic words “I love you.”

I saw what you meant about marriage. In this last scene I read, Gerald tells Scarlett that it's ridiculous marrying for love the way servants and Yankees do. First marriage, then comes love as he puts it and he's all in favor of arranged marriages (I think in one paragraph he mentions about 4 beaux that might be suitable for her: the Tarleton twins; the Calvert (sp?) boys and marrying one of the Tarletons I think would help them link Tara with the Tarleton plantation. On and on and on….

So nothing had really changed much since Tudor times if we're looking for a link as far as marriage. The girl was supposed to just sit back and let her parents arrange everything, although Gerald does permit Scarlett a little leeway in ordering her to marry someone like her who is also a good Southerner and proud. (I can't imagine Thomas Boleyn telling Anne and Mary “I want my girls to be happy. As long as you marry an Englishman who thinks like you I'll be content.” Of course I don't think Anne was chasing after some man who never told her he loved her and was making a fool of herself “when you can have any buck in the county.”)

I've also been impressed — and had forgotten — how Mitchell manages in a few descriptions to lay out the life of some of the young people of wealth in the South before the Civil War. In that scene on the veranda with Scarlett and the Tarleton twins, she is able to tell us much about how they were brought up as well as their attitudes. Books and definitely aren't at the top of the list LOL not when they can go hunting or play poker or — for the ladies — get the most fashionable gown.

One other character who has been well discussed in these early chapters but hasn't made an appearance yet — the Tarleton boys' mother who seems to be more in love with her horses than she is her wild children; she also has no qualms about whipping her sons although they are adults. And you get the idea that no one is going to mess with her either. How the heck did she manage to pull that one off in the genteel South?

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 19, 2011
9:32 am
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MegC
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@Tina–I had completely forgotten the detail that MM captures.  There is so much background about EVERYTHING packed into the first part of the book.  Everything from how Gerald came to live in the US to why Ellen Robillard married a poor Irishman forty-something years older than her…all about the county (the geography, the terrain, the families), the social structure of not just the whites, but also the slaves and where they fell in the pecking order (like how the slaves of wealthier landowners saw themselves as superior to white trash like the Slatterys).  I love her description of the Slatterys because I have known so many of them over the years.

Beatrice Tarleton is one of my favorite characters in the book.  She reminds me of my Mimi (my dad's mom).  She whipped my dad when he was eighteen years old.  But I think MM hits it straight on the head when she has Scarlett compare her relationship with her mother to that of the relationship that the Tarleton kids have with theirs.  She points out that both Beatrice and her husband were born and bred in North Georgia and they knew who they were and where they fell in the grand scheme of things.  They were sure of themselves which is why I think Beatrice was able to pull off the “spoil the rod and spare the child” mentality.

I think their was a slight “arranged marriage” mentality, but it was certainly loser than that during Tudor England where the girl had absolutely no say whatsoever.  Ellen agreed to marry Gerald once she discovered Phillipe was dead.  And Ellen had even coached the girls what to say if a man asked them for their hand in marriage.  So, ultimately, the decision lay with the girl, though I think parental input was certainly a strong motivator.  MM even mentions in a couple of places where girls would be sent away to get them away from a potentially poor match that appeared imminent…or, in the case of Phillipe Robillard, the boy was sent away.  Despite that, everyone recognized, on some level or another, that Ashley was a poor match for Scarlett and I was so irritated when I read “But I'll change all that!”  What the crap??  No you won't you silly girl!

But I agree that Ashley did behave as though he were courting her, and what else is a 16-year-old supposed to think?  I always wondered why Ashley just didn't say, “I don't love you!!”.  And to that end, I've always thought he intentionally strung Scarlett along because he knew exactly how she felt about him.  Though I've never been able to explain his motivations for stringing her along.

Anyway, I didn't get to read any last night because I was exhausted.  Just me and the kids this week since hubby's on the road in Oklahoma so I may not get to read anything at all!  We'll see!

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 19, 2011
9:49 am
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TinaII2None said:

I just finished the scene between Scarlett and her father at Tara, when Gerald verifies the engagement of Ashley and Melanie. I had forgotten the detail Mitchell laid out in describing the Wilkes family — queer is what Gerald called it, as in they were a family of oddballs. He talks about them running up North to attend the opera and going to Europe to see oil paintings. He knows in the end that Scarlett would never be happy with someone like Ashley and she replies “I can change him.” LOL Good grief — there are women that still think that. But I had forgotten that Ashley did appear to be courting Scarlett in one manner of speaking: escorting her to parties and dances and balls and such; taking her riding…but he just never tells her those magic words “I love you.”

I saw what you meant about marriage. In this last scene I read, Gerald tells Scarlett that it's ridiculous marrying for love the way servants and Yankees do. First marriage, then comes love as he puts it and he's all in favor of arranged marriages (I think in one paragraph he mentions about 4 beaux that might be suitable for her: the Tarleton twins; the Calvert (sp?) boys and marrying one of the Tarletons I think would help them link Tara with the Tarleton plantation. On and on and on….

So nothing had really changed much since Tudor times if we're looking for a link as far as marriage. The girl was supposed to just sit back and let her parents arrange everything, although Gerald does permit Scarlett a little leeway in ordering her to marry someone like her who is also a good Southerner and proud. (I can't imagine Thomas Boleyn telling Anne and Mary “I want my girls to be happy. As long as you marry an Englishman who thinks like you I'll be content.” Of course I don't think Anne was chasing after some man who never told her he loved her and was making a fool of herself “when you can have any buck in the county.”)

I've also been impressed — and had forgotten — how Mitchell manages in a few descriptions to lay out the life of some of the young people of wealth in the South before the Civil War. In that scene on the veranda with Scarlett and the Tarleton twins, she is able to tell us much about how they were brought up as well as their attitudes. Books and definitely aren't at the top of the list LOL not when they can go hunting or play poker or — for the ladies — get the most fashionable gown.

One other character who has been well discussed in these early chapters but hasn't made an appearance yet — the Tarleton boys' mother who seems to be more in love with her horses than she is her wild children; she also has no qualms about whipping her sons although they are adults. And you get the idea that no one is going to mess with her either. How the heck did she manage to pull that one off in the genteel South?


I'm heading into Part Two.  I was struck by that, “I can change him,” line.  Scary how some things never change.  My opinion of Ashley is probably getting worse.  I can barely stand to read what he has to say. Melanie deserved a better man.

Gerald calls the Wilkes' queer, but Mrs. Tarleton calls them inbred.  She compared them with her horses.  She says horses, if bred with the right bloodlines, could be inbred, but it just won't work with people  She claims that's why India and Honey looked “washed out,” and why Melanie was as thin as a rail.  She thought only the men in the family had received the good looks.  I was LMAO when the twins were saying they didn't want to go home to face her after getting kicked out of school again.  Or when one of the boys was shot in the leg and she asked the boy who shot him, Cade (I think) why his aim wasn't better.  I was wondering where did this woman come from, because she was not a typical southern belle. 

I was paying more attention to Ellen's story this time around.  She fell in love with Phillipe when she was 15, and her heart was broken.  If she knew what was going on with Scarlett, I wonder what she would have said to her daughter?  If Scarlett knew her mother's story, would she still confuse her with the Blessed Mother?  Maybe they would have had the kind of relationship that Mrs. Tarleton and her daughters shared.  Scarlett did seem to envy that relationship.

Gerald didn't seem to know the real Ellen because she held back so much of herself, but he didn't seem to notice something was missing. He was happy just to have her in his life.  Except for Mammy, no one seemed to know Ellen.  Ellen believed that if she wasn't happy…well that was a woman's lot in life.

April 19, 2011
12:58 pm
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MegC said:

@Tina–I had completely forgotten the detail that MM captures.  There is so much background about EVERYTHING packed into the first part of the book.  Everything from how Gerald came to live in the US to why Ellen Robillard married a poor Irishman forty-something years older than her…all about the county (the geography, the terrain, the families), the social structure of not just the whites, but also the slaves and where they fell in the pecking order (like how the slaves of wealthier landowners saw themselves as superior to white trash like the Slatterys).  I love her description of the Slatterys because I have known so many of them over the years.

Beatrice Tarleton is one of my favorite characters in the book.  She reminds me of my Mimi (my dad's mom).  She whipped my dad when he was eighteen years old.  But I think MM hits it straight on the head when she has Scarlett compare her relationship with her mother to that of the relationship that the Tarleton kids have with theirs.  She points out that both Beatrice and her husband were born and bred in North Georgia and they knew who they were and where they fell in the grand scheme of things.  They were sure of themselves which is why I think Beatrice was able to pull off the “spoil the rod and spare the child” mentality.

I think their was a slight “arranged marriage” mentality, but it was certainly loser than that during Tudor England where the girl had absolutely no say whatsoever.  Ellen agreed to marry Gerald once she discovered Phillipe was dead.  And Ellen had even coached the girls what to say if a man asked them for their hand in marriage.  So, ultimately, the decision lay with the girl, though I think parental input was certainly a strong motivator.  MM even mentions in a couple of places where girls would be sent away to get them away from a potentially poor match that appeared imminent…or, in the case of Phillipe Robillard, the boy was sent away.  Despite that, everyone recognized, on some level or another, that Ashley was a poor match for Scarlett and I was so irritated when I read “But I'll change all that!”  What the crap??  No you won't you silly girl!

But I agree that Ashley did behave as though he were courting her, and what else is a 16-year-old supposed to think?  I always wondered why Ashley just didn't say, “I don't love you!!”.  And to that end, I've always thought he intentionally strung Scarlett along because he knew exactly how she felt about him.  Though I've never been able to explain his motivations for stringing her along.

Anyway, I didn't get to read any last night because I was exhausted.  Just me and the kids this week since hubby's on the road in Oklahoma so I may not get to read anything at all!  We'll see!


Wow Meg you covered so much so in response to what I had to say so I'll try to touch base with it as best I can before I go for a nap. (I work tonight and we were slightly busy last night).

The entire Ashley Wilkes stringing Scarlett along both before AND after his marriage to Melanie has been very frustrating to me because here is this man who supposedly has so much honor, but he played a very dishonorable “game” in what he did towards both women. I had just figured — from what remained in the movie — that Scarlett developed a crush on him for no reason and it went from there, although, at the barbecue, when she tells him that she knows he loves her he can't answer at first and you see it in his eyes. But back to the novel. Now I see there was much more motivation, and even at my age, I might think a man had some intentions if he spends TWO YEARS taking me on dates and paying close attention to me. So imagine how a young woman of 16 (and I guess starting at about 14 when Ashley tells her she's grown up) would feel. And her father telling her that Ashley hasn't once asked her to marry him makes no difference. But yeah, it cracked me up when she declares to Gerard that she can change Ashley when she marries him!

The poor women of Tudor times — you're right, Scarlett and her girlfriends and sisters had an “easier” time of things when it came to choosing or accepting the man they would marry. I think that's why I was joking that you'd never hear Thomas Boleyn saying such things to Mary or Anne about choosing a proper Englishman who thinks like them. (And the maneuverings of courtship, forced marriage, etc. in those times is absolutely amazing to me). And here is Scarlett, having the opportunity to choose any eligible man in the county but instead she's in love with someone who is such a polar opposite…you do have to wonder that had she married Ashley then and the war not have come (of course we wouldn't have had a story LOL), how long would it have taken for the disaster to set in.

So I'm up to the part where Mitchell goes into the backgrounds of Ellen and Gerald; we've already had a slight intro about how Gerald thinks he runs things but how soft-hearted he can be, but Ellen is the real power at Tara. I also liked those first paragraphs where MM discusses Ellen — 32-years-old and all the life gone, leaving behind this serious, elegant woman with a secret.

Side Note: But if you EVER want to see actress Barbara O'Neill in a role that is the complete opposite of Ellen, check out the Bette Davis movie All This and Heaven Too. Based on a true story, O'Neill plays a French duchess or countess who is totally loony with a capital L, making her poor children miserable and driving hubby Charles Boyer into the arms of the governess (Davis). Oh there's a horrific murder too. Laugh

Back to GWTW. I love the way the entire society is laid out, from the rich down to the slaves. I always knew there was one among the slave class: Pork declaring that they are house slaves, not field ones later in the book; the Tarleton boys' slave declaring that the one farmer is “poor white trash” and the twins scolding him for calling the man that. (The slave was even slamming the man's few slaves by saying they were beneath him, another slave). Mammy's indignation at Ellen nursing the “poor white” Slatterys. You pegged it when you called it the pecking order. And I also saw the one line about how Savannah and Charleston didn't think much of those in Atlanta and I'm guessing North Georgia. It's incredible to me how Mitchell is able to work all of that in.

While the movie captured so much of the physical beauty, MM does a great job herself. When Scarlett goes down the road to wait for Gerald to come home, and she's sitting there as it grows darker and she witnesses the dusk and how it all plays off Tara, I could see it al in my mind. And it just reminded me of part of why I fell in love with the book as my mother did. Tara is as much a character as the humans in the story.

Do hope you get to read some more this week. I work until Thursday night and then will be off Easter weekend, one of my favorite times of the year.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 19, 2011
1:21 pm
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Sharon said:


I'm heading into Part Two.  I was struck by that, “I can change him,” line.  Scary how some things never change.  My opinion of Ashley is probably getting worse.  I can barely stand to read what he has to say. Melanie deserved a better man.
Gerald calls the Wilkes' queer, but Mrs. Tarleton calls them inbred.  She compared them with her horses.  She says horses, if bred with the right bloodlines, could be inbred, but it just won't work with people  She claims that's why India and Honey looked “washed out,” and why Melanie was as thin as a rail.  She thought only the men in the family had received the good looks.  I was LMAO when the twins were saying they didn't want to go home to face her after getting kicked out of school again.  Or when one of the boys was shot in the leg and she asked the boy who shot him, Cade (I think) why his aim wasn't better.  I was wondering where did this woman come from, because she was not a typical southern belle. 

I was paying more attention to Ellen's story this time around.  She fell in love with Phillipe when she was 15, and her heart was broken.  If she knew what was going on with Scarlett, I wonder what she would have said to her daughter?  If Scarlett knew her mother's story, would she still confuse her with the Blessed Mother?  Maybe they would have had the kind of relationship that Mrs. Tarleton and her daughters shared.  Scarlett did seem to envy that relationship.

Gerald didn't seem to know the real Ellen because she held back so much of herself, but he didn't seem to notice something was missing. He was happy just to have her in his life.  Except for Mammy, no one seemed to know Ellen.  Ellen believed that if she wasn't happy…well that was a woman's lot in life.


For years Sharon, even with not having read the book in ages, I remember Beatrice Tarleton calling the Wilkes inbred! My mother and I laughed our butts off about that comment too. Because Mrs. Tarleton was RIGHT! I guess it was like many of these royal houses that married cousins so many times the line did become diluted. Oh I loved that where the twins are trying to think of anywhere to go to keep from heading home to face their mom and the news of their…was it fourth expulsion? LOL (Loved how they were saying that now they wouldn't get their Grand Tour of Europe but they couldn't imagine what Europe would teach them, despite what Ashley said). I was also LMAO about them all shooting one another. Yeah, I think one of the twins shot Cade Calvert (his Yankee stepmother freaked); then someone shot one of the Tarletons. But hey, they blamed it all on getting “lickered” up! LOL I know that there'll be more about Mrs. Tarleton in part one, but that woman fascinated me to no end, because she seemed to — well, for lack of a better term — get away with things more than any other woman in the county. So yes, I'd love to know where she came from originally and how she ended up with Mr. Tarleton, etc. She was definitely no Southern belle as we know them!

I'm about to start the chapter in which Ellen's history is laid out. You got it so right when you said mentioned Scarlett pretty much comparing her mother to the Blessed Mother. Scarlett saw the woman as perfection itself, near flawless, everything she wanted to be. I wish Scarlett had known the real Ellen…and yes, what advice would Ellen have given her daughter had she known what was troubling her? You're right about Gerald. I think even when I was a kid and reading the book, I kept thinking “He's just happy that things are running smoothly” and I don't doubt that he loved Ellen in his own way.

But — and this is just one of those little things that always drove me crazy about that time period — the propriety involved in a wife calling her husband say “Mr. O'Hara” and the man calling his wife such as “Mrs. O'Hara.” My grandfather once joked to my grandmother that she ought to start calling him “Mr. ********”. My grandmother — who as a young girl pitched on her father's amateur BASEBALL team and had such an arm that she once accidentally killed a calf with a foul ball — gave him one of those looks. LOL She then declared that under no circumstances did she think that a husband and wife ought to refer to one another that way, unless they had no feelings for each other at all. I know when it came to Mr. O'Hara/Mrs. O'Hara, it drove her up the wall too, and she said she remembered hearing people she worked for call each other Mr. and Mrs. such-and-such. And she was born in 1907 when it was likely still very popular to do so.

And on that note, I really need to take a nap! LOL  

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 19, 2011
2:19 pm
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MegC
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You are absolutely spot-on with Ashley!  He clings to his precious honor while simultaneously stringing Scarlett along by a simple unwillingness to tell Scarlett he doesn't love her.  Perhaps he, like Charlie, was flattered to be cared for by someone as alive and passionate as Scarlett.  At any rate, this, in my mind, makes Ashley worse than Scarlett.  At least Rhett knew when he married Scarlett that she was in love with Ashley, but Ashley goes through life, Eeyore-like, never having the guts to tell either Melly or Scarlett he doesn't love her (whichever one).  How hypocritical!  I think Rhett says it best later in the book when he says something about Ashley being unable to be physically unfaithful to Melly, and can't be faithful to her technically (or something like that).

This really brings us to the question of why did Scarlett want Ashley so badly?  She had a million other beaux and he, the least attainable, was the one she wanted.  I think it was exactly because of that stand-offishness that she was so smitten with him.  Whereas all these other men were obviously smitten with her, she never really knew where she stood with Ashley.  Once she had conquered him, so to speak, she would have grown bored with him.  I think we know this because Charlie and Ashley are very similar in that they both live in their heads and speak of things that Scarlett has no understanding of and Scarlett couldn't stand poor Charlie.  Somewhere at the end of the book Scarlett realizes that it's like she's sewn a suit and put it on Ashley and is terribly in love with the fabrication and unable to see the reality so dazzled is she by the suit.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 20, 2011
10:40 am
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Sharon
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I think in a way Ashley did love Scarlett. He loved her strength and her passion. But Ashley was afraid that if Scarlett saw him for the man he was, she would soon tire of him.  I think that's why he acted so aloof and distant when he was with her.  He didn't allow her to see his weaknesses.  She was good for his ego.  

The war defeated Ashley, whereas it made Scarlett stronger and undefeatable.  He needed to have her near him because she was unwilling to allow whatever the fates had in store for her, to defeat her. Not even the Yankees would be bring this woman down.  She would always find a way to win. If they destroyed the life she knew, why she would just build a new and better life for herself and the people she loved.  Ashley didn't have that kind of strength.  All he had was his honor and that was pretty much gone after the war. I don't think he was very proud of himself for doing this, but he followed in her wake.

Charles and Ashley were very much alike.  I like your comment, Meg, they both lived in their heads. That is so true.  Marriage to Charles had he lived, would never have been a happy one and Ashley knew that.  Just as he knew Scarlett would have come to hate him if they had married.  He knew she deserved someone who was more like her. She deserved an equal, and Ashley didn't even come close.

And here's a case of not knowing what you have til it's gone…Melanie was stronger than both Ashley and Scarlett.  Melly had a streak of common sense and righteousness that made her as tough as steel when she needed to be. Even Scarlett saw this and eventually came to love Melanie, though she didn't show it very often.  Ashley and Scarlett both needed Melanie.  Melanie saw both their faults and loved them unconditionally.   

Scarlett fell in love with the idea of Ashley.  She thought he was everything a gentleman and a husband should be.  It didn't occurr to her that he was not living up to her expectations of him.  She never saw the real Ashley until much later.  She was bewildered by his attitude towards the war and couldn't figure out why Rhett and he had the same opinion.   He was her Prince.  Therefore, he couldn't think like Rhett!  Then she just put it out of her mind.  It wasn't important. He was perfect in her eyes.  While she had no delusions about Rhett, everything she thought about Ashley was a delusion.  It took her forever to get past the little girl's dream of him.

On another note: It's funny the things I'm picking up this time around.   The last time I read this book, google was but a dream in some little boys mind. If he was even alive…LOL   I find I'm looking up an awful lot of info this time around. Like The Battle of the Boyne and the Empress of France.  When Scarlett is with Rhett at the Bazaar, the band plays 'Bonnie Blue Flag.'  Scarlett sings a few bars to Rhett. I cannot recall ever learning about the bonnie blue flag.  I thought the rebel flag was the confederate flag.  So I guess I missed that everytime I read the book.  Anyway…Here are the words to the song Scarlett was singing:    http://americancivilwar.com/Ci…..ong.html  I know some of you are southerners and may know this song, but for those who are not…have a look.

April 20, 2011
5:23 pm
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TinaII2None
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MegC said:

You are absolutely spot-on with Ashley!  He clings to his precious honor while simultaneously stringing Scarlett along by a simple unwillingness to tell Scarlett he doesn't love her.  Perhaps he, like Charlie, was flattered to be cared for by someone as alive and passionate as Scarlett.  At any rate, this, in my mind, makes Ashley worse than Scarlett.  At least Rhett knew when he married Scarlett that she was in love with Ashley, but Ashley goes through life, Eeyore-like, never having the guts to tell either Melly or Scarlett he doesn't love her (whichever one).  How hypocritical!  I think Rhett says it best later in the book when he says something about Ashley being unable to be physically unfaithful to Melly, and can't be faithful to her technically (or something like that).

This really brings us to the question of why did Scarlett want Ashley so badly?  She had a million other beaux and he, the least attainable, was the one she wanted.  I think it was exactly because of that stand-offishness that she was so smitten with him.  Whereas all these other men were obviously smitten with her, she never really knew where she stood with Ashley.  Once she had conquered him, so to speak, she would have grown bored with him.  I think we know this because Charlie and Ashley are very similar in that they both live in their heads and speak of things that Scarlett has no understanding of and Scarlett couldn't stand poor Charlie.  Somewhere at the end of the book Scarlett realizes that it's like she's sewn a suit and put it on Ashley and is terribly in love with the fabrication and unable to see the reality so dazzled is she by the suit.


I'll make this short as I'm going to take a nap before heading off to work for a last night before I have a 3 night weekend off. (And our area was hit by high winds ranging from 80 to 90 to over 100 MPH! A tornado touched down (they believe) in Southern Indiana, and we had quite a lightning show. It's calm now, but they're talking about more rain — like we haven't had enough already.

Anyway, I'm at the part in the book where Scarlett is plotting what she'll do at the barbecue — she intends to make Ashley jealous and then announce t hm that the men mean nothing to her…but HE does. And no, Meg, after seeing the movie a gajillion times Laugh, now reading the book for possibly the sixth time give or take, and having discussed it with my grandmother, my mother, my sisters — I still don't know WHAT she saw in Ashley. Perhaps he was, as you said, so different that he was a challenge — but a challenge for roughly, well, if she was 14 when she fell in love with him, and the novel ends in the 1870's, you're talking about carrying a torch for this man for a decade and a half?? Roughly? Just unreal to me.

But when you said that Ashley's attitude made him worse than Scarlett, you said a mouthful Meg! And that line of Rhett's is one of my favorites; in the movie it takes place during the “I'm going to put my hands on either side of your head like so…” scene (right before the rape). Off the top of my head, I think Rhett says that the comical figure in all this is the long-suffering Mr. Wilkes, who can't be physically unfaithful to his wife but isn't totally mentally faithful. Then Rhett ends it, I believe, by saying “Why can't he just make up his mind?” I AGREE! Scarlett and Melanie could have done so much better….

And to think that in the end, Scarlett promised to help take care of him and little Beau (don't want to spoil it for any of our GWTW virgins out there)! The first thing I would have done — after thinking about getting Rhett back tomorrow LOL — is to have taken Ashley by the shoulders…and as the Duke of Norfolk so aptly put it, slammed the long suffering Mr. Wilkes' head into the wall until it was as soft as a baked apple! Then told him to act like a man. (Wait — I think THAT was Don Corleone! LaughLaugh)

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 20, 2011
7:50 pm
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TinaII2None said:

And to think that in the end, Scarlett promised to help take care of him and little Beau (don't want to spoil it for any of our GWTW virgins out there)! The first thing I would have done — after thinking about getting Rhett back tomorrow LOL — is to have taken Ashley by the shoulders…and as the Duke of Norfolk so aptly put it, slammed the long suffering Mr. Wilkes' head into the wall until it was as soft as a baked apple! Then told him to act like a man. (Wait — I think THAT was Don Corleone! LaughLaugh)

Don Corleone would have had the class to just put a hit out on him.  Ashley's always so miserable, he probably would have viewed death as a relief.


"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 20, 2011
8:23 pm
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Just had a thought which has been rolling around in my head for a few days and I keep meaning to mention it, but I keep forgetting…

I'm always struck by MM's description of Scarlett at the beginning of the book where she explicitly states “Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful but one seldom realized it when caught by her charms…”.  Then, she goes on to give a bit of a physical description and spends quite a bit of time describing Scarlett's eyes.

And this reminds me so much of descriptions of Anne…which say that she really wasn't incredibly beautiful, but her eyes were mesmerizing her (French) charms frequently either pulled people in or pushed them away.

 

Anyway…discuss 😀

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 20, 2011
9:17 pm
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Anyanka
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MegC said:

TinaII2None said:

And to think that in the end, Scarlett promised to help take care of him and little Beau (don't want to spoil it for any of our GWTW virgins out there)! The first thing I would have done — after thinking about getting Rhett back tomorrow LOL — is to have taken Ashley by the shoulders…and as the Duke of Norfolk so aptly put it, slammed the long suffering Mr. Wilkes' head into the wall until it was as soft as a baked apple! Then told him to act like a man. (Wait — I think THAT was Don Corleone! LaughLaugh)

Don Corleone would have had the class to just put a hit out on him.  Ashley's always so miserable, he probably would have viewed death as a relief.



I got to the stage where Ashley dying would be a relief…

It's always bunnies.

April 20, 2011
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Anyanka said:

MegC said:

TinaII2None said:

And to think that in the end, Scarlett promised to help take care of him and little Beau (don't want to spoil it for any of our GWTW virgins out there)! The first thing I would have done — after thinking about getting Rhett back tomorrow LOL — is to have taken Ashley by the shoulders…and as the Duke of Norfolk so aptly put it, slammed the long suffering Mr. Wilkes' head into the wall until it was as soft as a baked apple! Then told him to act like a man. (Wait — I think THAT was Don Corleone! LaughLaugh)

Don Corleone would have had the class to just put a hit out on him.  Ashley's always so miserable, he probably would have viewed death as a relief.



I got to the stage where Ashley dying would be a relief…
 


LMAO!!  To his credit, I don't like the character, but Leslie Howard did an admirable job of pulling off Ashley.  I've never paid him much attention, but for some reason it struck me as a good idea to throw GWTW in the DVD player tonight and I've been paying more attention to the actors themselves this time around.  And Clark Gable as Rhett was just superb!  Everything he does just oozes Rhett Butler's nonchalance and arrogance.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 21, 2011
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TinaII2None
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MegC said:

LMAO!!  To his credit, I don't like the character, but Leslie Howard did an admirable job of pulling off Ashley.  I've never paid him much attention, but for some reason it struck me as a good idea to throw GWTW in the DVD player tonight and I've been paying more attention to the actors themselves this time around.  And Clark Gable as Rhett was just superb!  Everything he does just oozes Rhett Butler's nonchalance and arrogance.


Off from work, but going to run errands today since the weekend is going to be more rain, possibly more hail and thunderstorms and a chance of tornadoes (they've verified that 2 touchdown in Southern Indiana the other day).

I just wanted to quickly comment about Leslie Howard. He wasn't a handsome man in the way of say Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but he had a certain elegance to him that made him a favorite of mine as an actor…even when Ashley made me want to slap him silly.

You're right that he pulled off Ashley, although I've read from GWTW behind the scenes, he had come to despise the role by the time it was all over. And he honestly felt himself too old to play the Ashley of the book (he was around 43 when he played the teen-aged ROMEO opposite Merle Oberon's Juliet in 1936 so he was likely 45 or so when he played Ashley).

His Henry Higgins of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion is nearly more biting than that of Rex Harrison (who joked that he was copying Howard when he did My Fair Lady) and since he drove me up the wall in the part, I figure he did it right! LOL I've seen scenes from Of Human Bondage, in which he plays a sensitive crippled, driven to distraction by a prostitute played by Bette Davis. And very recently, I watched him stand-up to Nazi scumbags in The 49th Parallel — a cameo role in which a U-boat crew is stranded in Canada, and tries to convince Canadians to join their cause in the time before WWII. Howard plays a hunter who runs across the group…and he shows a good deal of courage and patriotism that made me forget all about “the long suffering Mr. Wilkes”. And in reality, while openly working in the fight against Hitler and Nazi Germany, he may or may not have been secretly involved with British Intelligence when his plane was shot down, a tragedy which has led to numerous conspiracy theories. He was such a good friend to Humphrey Bogart that Bogie named a daughter for him.

So I have good memories of Leslie Howard, actor.

Ashley Wilkes — EHHHHHHHHHHH…not so much.LaughLaugh

PS: For my maternal grandmother, her favorite Clark Gable role was in Mogambo with Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly…and then Rhett LOL 

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 21, 2011
9:35 am
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Nothing to do with the book, TinaII2None, I thought I would give you a weather report from Southern England as yours seem pretty bad at the moment. It hasn't rained here for over two weeks and temperatures are around 27c (thats 80f), but don't worry, it never lasts here and the summer will probably be rubbish, hope things improve there soon.

P.S. My mother saw GWTW in this country during the war and said it was the best film she had ever seen (she was amazed at the awesome scenes and in colour too – she had only ever seen black and white before this).

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