Gone With The Wind. | Page 6 | Book Club | Forum

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Gone With The Wind.
April 21, 2011
9:38 am
Avatar
MegC
Georgia, US
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 426
Member Since:
October 31, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
101sp_Permalink sp_Print

TinaII2None said:

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 


My biggest critique of him in GWTW is that he never **really** got the southern accent down.  It's still painfully obvious that he's British.

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

April 21, 2011
10:29 am
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
102sp_Permalink sp_Print

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 

Quick correction that came to me while I was taking a nap LOL Merle Oberon played Leslie's wife in The Scarlet Pimpernel; it was Norma Shearer who played Juliet. And she was a great actress, but she wasn't exactly 14 or 15 either.


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
10:44 am
Avatar
Anyanka
La Belle Province
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2345
Member Since:
November 18, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
103sp_Permalink sp_Print

Neil Kemp said:

 

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).


I got THe Wizard of Oz out for the kids over Christmas and they were mesmerised by the B&W scenes.

It's always bunnies.

April 21, 2011
3:31 pm
Avatar
Neil Kemp
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 447
Member Since:
April 11, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
104sp_Permalink sp_Print

Must have been the economy version.

April 21, 2011
6:40 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
105sp_Permalink sp_Print

Sharon said:

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.


Oh so much Sharon — so much. First off, I'd never heard of the Bonnie Blue Flag song so thanks for the link so I could read over the lyrics. I had always wondered why Melanie said “As blue as the bonnie blue flag” because the only Confederate flag I knew of was the one we always see.

Now onto the book — and I started Part Two today with Scarlett going for a visit to the in-laws (Melanie and Aunt Pittypat) and her falling in love with all the excitement of Atlanta. And we also have a clue as to why Charles grew up to be such a “sissy”. I felt rather sorry for Charles — you see so much more of him in the novel than in the movie and he's just so innocent and caught up in his own fantasy of Scarlett O'Hara. Even when she tells him to hush at the barbecue, he thinks it's because she's just overly excited and delicate, not realizing it's because she'd like to put a knife in his gut. And the poor man went to his grave thinking she loved him. (We all know without doubt that had he lived to return home, Scarlett would have made him miserable, and considering how sensitve he was anyway, I'm unsure where his unhappiness might have led him. Poor silly Charles).

Now Sharon — what you said about Scarlett and Ashley. Yes, I've always felt that in his own way, he did love her. Each time Scarlett confesses to him about her love for him, he begs her to stop because I don't think he can take hearing her true feelings. He was truthful when he said he admired her strength and her — as Rhett later mocked — passion for living. And as you so aptly put it, once the war was gone, everything he held dear was gone and it broke him, and unlike Scarlett, all he could do was live in the past and float along in the present. Even Melanie in her own sweet way had a strength that I'm not even sure Ashley ever possessed, and I so agree with you about Melanie being stronger than Scarlett or Ashley. Rereading the book has reminded me of something I had little by little picked up watching the movie.

I also love your mention of something that I noticed when I was reading the barbecue scene today — that Scarlett noticed that both Ashley and Rhett agreed on why the War wasn't a good idea…but she hated the idea because Rhett was nothing compared to her beloved Ashley.

Anyway, loved your analysis. Loving what everyone has to say because you're adding such a depth to a book I've loved for a long time.

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
6:53 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
106sp_Permalink sp_Print

MegC said:

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.


Of all his misery scenes, the one that really made me want to leave him dead on the spot (What do you mean Ashley's committed suicide by shooting himself three or four times? ), was the infamous barn scene when Scarlett offers to run away to Mexico with him…and once again he gives Scarlett the runaround and talks about Gotterdammerung and is just typically Ashley.

Oh yes, yes Scarlett I love you — I can't help loving you, but we have our honor and we just can't leave Melanie and the baby and your father and sisters alone to fend for themselves….Did I mention that I love you though? But our world is over — it's the Twilight of the Gods…but I love you, did I mention that? But we must forget we ever said these words. We'd hurt Melanie.

On and on and on….That scene and the one of him fumbling with the single sock, saying he doesn't know where the other one is and then that he is so lost because Melanie was his world.

*slaps him hard* YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN. WASSA MATTER WITH YOU?

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 22, 2011
5:27 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
107sp_Permalink sp_Print

Neil Kemp said:

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).


Hi Neil — and I hope you all get a decent amount of rain soon. I love Southern England! We could send you some of ours. We got more rain today and more is due tomorrow…and Easter Sunday…then another break and then more rain. I hate seeing Easter rained out as it is one of my favorite holidays. And around here in our state (the Gateway to the South), the Kentucky Derby is also a major holiday of sorts and will be 2 weeks from tomorrow. At the rate we're going, the horses will be swimming around the track at Churchill Downs!! We're still under tornado watches for the remainder of the evening and the Ohio River is nearly at 29 feet which is well above the flood level. We haven't reached the record level set in 1937 (I heard my grandparents speak of that), but if it keeps up this way….

I can just imagine how your mother felt seeing a color movie for the first time. I know that seems like such a simple thing now in these modern times, but I have fond memories of my maternal grandmother telling me of seeing GWTW or Frankenstein or King Kong for the first time and we're talking about when those movies were first released. I guess it was appropriate that she took me to see GWTW in its' 1968 re-release. We saw it at a theater in downtown Louisville, a theater that was torn down a few years later because of Urban Renewal, but it had been built during the glory days of the Twenties which saw the rise of those magnificent movie palaces. We sat in the balcony and I made it nearly through the entire movie (I think I got tired and we left shortly after Bonnie died). But — like seeing the parting of the Red Sea for the first time in The Ten Commandments — the burning of Atlanta was impressed on that little girl's (me Laugh) mind forever.

The Rialto — http://cinematreasures.org/theater/8398/; some of the posters have links to photos. I had forgotten it was a Loew's theater so I have a feeling it likely showed GWTW back in 1939! It just breaks my heart knowing that the spot is now a parking lot. Thank God we managed to save the United Artist/Penthouse theaters which are now our Louisville Palace and the home of local film festivals…some of which have included GWTW.

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 22, 2011
9:05 pm
Avatar
MegC
Georgia, US
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 426
Member Since:
October 31, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
108sp_Permalink sp_Print

TinaII2None said:

MegC said:

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.


Of all his misery scenes, the one that really made me want to leave him dead on the spot (What do you mean Ashley's committed suicide by shooting himself three or four times? ), was the infamous barn scene when Scarlett offers to run away to Mexico with him…and once again he gives Scarlett the runaround and talks about Gotterdammerung and is just typically Ashley.

Oh yes, yes Scarlett I love you — I can't help loving you, but we have our honor and we just can't leave Melanie and the baby and your father and sisters alone to fend for themselves….Did I mention that I love you though? But our world is over — it's the Twilight of the Gods…but I love you, did I mention that? But we must forget we ever said these words. We'd hurt Melanie.

On and on and on….That scene and the one of him fumbling with the single sock, saying he doesn't know where the other one is and then that he is so lost because Melanie was his world.

*slaps him hard* YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN. WASSA MATTER WITH YOU?


You said it perfectly!!  

Ashley (grasping Scarlett by the shoulders):  Oh, Scarlett!  Scarlett!  I love you!  (looking away melodramatically) No, I don't!  (Looking back at Scarlett)  Yes, I do!  I do!!

In the words of Bella Swann, Ashley's moodswings would have given a half-way sane person whiplash.

I just finished the part with the Bazaar, Ellen has found out and written her telling her how ashamed she is, and Gerald is now in Atlanta.  I have to admit that I had completely forgotten about this part of the story!  I guess I just assumed that, like many authors, MM would have just glanced over the repercussions of Scarlett's behavior at the Bazaar.  But I like that she dealt with the situation.  Even though there's a war raging, propriety still must be observed.  Scarlett and Rhett instinctively realize that all their lives are going to change.  But, if you look at her actions, Melanie also realizes that nothing will ever be the same again.  Even though she is proud of Ashley and his efforts at the front, and even though she throws herself willingly behind the Cause, she also realizes that, win or lose, the South will never be the same as it was before the War.  When all the rest of Atlanta is chastising Scarlett for her behavior, Melanie is defending her, not just for the Cause, but also because she recognizes that Scarlett is young, and she even says that things are different during Wars.

At least, that's the vibe I get from her.  

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

April 23, 2011
9:19 am
Avatar
Sharon
Binghamton, NY
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2119
Member Since:
February 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rhett seems to want to sabatoge his life when things seem to be going well for him.  He does all the right things that will make him acceptable in Atlanta society, which I think is what he really wants, and then he goes and blasts that opion of him to hell.  Everybody hates him again.  He seems afraid that people will dislike him eventually, and he takes the first step to end the relationship.  Whenever he thinks he will be hurt, he strikes first, and walks away.  With the exception of Melanie, he has nothing but contempt for the people around him.   

April 23, 2011
7:17 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
110sp_Permalink sp_Print

MegC said:


You said it perfectly!!  
Ashley (grasping Scarlett by the shoulders):  Oh, Scarlett!  Scarlett!  I love you!  (looking away melodramatically) No, I don't!  (Looking back at Scarlett)  Yes, I do!  I do!!

In the words of Bella Swann, Ashley's moodswings would have given a half-way sane person whiplash.

I just finished the part with the Bazaar, Ellen has found out and written her telling her how ashamed she is, and Gerald is now in Atlanta.  I have to admit that I had completely forgotten about this part of the story!  I guess I just assumed that, like many authors, MM would have just glanced over the repercussions of Scarlett's behavior at the Bazaar.  But I like that she dealt with the situation.  Even though there's a war raging, propriety still must be observed.  Scarlett and Rhett instinctively realize that all their lives are going to change.  But, if you look at her actions, Melanie also realizes that nothing will ever be the same again.  Even though she is proud of Ashley and his efforts at the front, and even though she throws herself willingly behind the Cause, she also realizes that, win or lose, the South will never be the same as it was before the War.  When all the rest of Atlanta is chastising Scarlett for her behavior, Melanie is defending her, not just for the Cause, but also because she recognizes that Scarlett is young, and she even says that things are different during Wars.

At least, that's the vibe I get from her.  


I know I've mentioned it before, but from what I've read of Leslie Howard's attitude towards Ashley at that point in the filming, I guess we're lucky we got THAT much emotion. (Supposedly, according to one source, in order to get him to play Ashley, the studio had promised he would get to appear or direct some projects he wanted to do — I think Intermezzo with Ingrid Bergman was one; but to put it mildly he got screwed about so his heart wasn't exactly in a part he already felt too old to be playing. The book also said that the barn scene — when filmed as Vivian's screen test — had such electricity between her and Howard…and it all came missing when it came to filming the actual movie). But he really was in the “Yes I do love you” “No I don't love you” whiplash mode wasn't he?

When I stopped reading the book on Thursday — and being off this weekend I've been busy and relaxing and haven't had a chance to get back to it — Scarlett had arrived in Atlanta, being picked up at the station by Uncle Peter. All of this I had completely forgotten!! I'm thinking mainly of the scene as Scarlett, Prissy and baby Wade are driven through town to Aunt Pitty's, and all of the matrons and such come out to greet her, to ask her to be on the various committees, etc. Most seem honestly glad to see her and you don't get the sense then that she will turn out to be a pain in all their behinds before it's over! As I mentioned before, it was nice to get some missing background on Charles and how the household — with the exception of the slave Uncle Peter — is devoid of masculinity, so it's no wonder Charles grew up to be a “sissy.” I always saw Melanie as the devoted sister. I'm not sure how much help Pittypat was LOL It's sort of a shame Uncle Henry (a character I had completely forgotten) didn't have more influence in his nephew's life, but MM makes that pretty clear as to why that didn't happen.

Now I haven't read the bazaar scene yet Meg, so I am so glad you mentioned that Scarlett does face some consequences for what happened. You'd never know it from the movie. It's 1) she dances at the Bazaar; 2) we see Melanie reading the letter in which Rhett explains about retrieving the wedding rings….then 3) Rhett returns from Paris with a hat for Scarlett and 4) Gettysburg off screen. OF COURSE the word would have gotten back to Tara. Even with the War, it would have been the major gossip for the whole season. (I can still hear Laura Hope Crews' panic in the movie). It wouldn't surprise me if word got all the way to Savannah and Charleston!

You are right about the whole War bringing about change, even if they all believed the South would win. At that point, and this is just from reading GWTW and not depending on actual history, Atlanta seems touched by war only through seeing the injured at the hospitals or soldiers on leave…or by not getting the silks, etc. they are used to having. It's not hurting them yet as we will see later — with Uncle Peter chasing behind that scrawny rooster for the family's Christmas dinner and saying it's the last chicken in Atlanta; the city isn't under siege with cannon fire in the streets. The war they were going to win in a month has already lasted a year (taking Scarlett's 9 months of pregnancy into account). But it is already affecting lives as you said.

And one thing I noticed that I never had before — in the scenes about Scarlett after (as MM says) she is made wife, widow and mother in very short time, we know she was sorry she ever agreed to Charles' proposal, and she's sorry she didn't listen to Ellen telling her to wait. MM also mentions something that years later, when Scarlett looked back on her time with Charles, she could barely remember anything about it since I imagine it was all a haze to her anyway. I thought that mention of Scarlett looking back in time was interesting, and I wonder why I had never noticed it before in previous readings.

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 30, 2011
9:22 am
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
111sp_Permalink sp_Print

Well, I'm off this weekend so I figured I'd catch-up on my GWTW reading, and was just curious as to how everyone else is coming along.

I've started Part Three and I think Atlanta is entering 1864 but I've read a good deal that has been something of a revelation, both in reminding me of things forgotten and comparing the novel to the movie.

I either didn't remember or didn't realize that Rhett comes off in the book as an even bigger scoundrel. In the movie you never get the impression that Rhett sets himself up as both a hero and then willingly permits his reputation to self-destruct. The people in the movie seem to still consider him as the heroic blockade runner, even with his nasty reputation as well as no longer being received. The book leaves us with no misunderstandings, and in fact, sort of works into the way Mitchell sets up the collapse of the South (even when they are under the delusion/illusion that they will win, even if it is taking longer than they originally believed). Rhett happily — and with no apologies — does what he needs to survive, whether that is as a blockade runner or as a speculator; whichever works the best to make his millions and he is unapologetic. I just find it hilarious when he accuses Scarlett of being a hypocrite. Sure she is, but I guess it just reminds me of that line he has in the movie, when he and Scarlett are rectifying their reputations “for Bonnie's sake.” (Remember that Scarlett accuses Rhett of not being the most sterling of individuals, and he comes off with this flippant line which says “oh yes, I've had my faults too — but nothing like YOU Mrs. Butler.”)

But he is admiring of Melanie, even to pulling some unknown strings to find out Ashley's fate or carrying her home when she passes out and he finds her. Maybe I've missed it somewhere but does she remind him of someone he possibly loved or really cared about (such as a sister) and he feels protective of her? Or is it just that Melanie is such a good, decent woman that he wants to be nice to her?

Although I'm not to the burning of Atlanta yet and this is just from what I recall of the movie, I've always joked that Rhett Butler makes one of the most enormous turnarounds in movie history (as far as joining the Confederate army)…until Han Solo decided to participate in the Death Star battle just in a knick of time!

There are also a few changes in the transition from book to movie, including Melanie's panic over being seen with Belle Watling (in the movie she has no such qualms); or Scarlett being the one to surrender her wedding ring at the bazaar, which then encourages Melanie to do so. I had no idea Scarlett had been sneaking and reading Ashley's letters to Melanie (in which he tells of his skepticism in them winning)…and then Melanie openly annoucing that she will not turn away Rhett's visits because he and Ashley think the same when it comes to the war.

It's also been interesting to see the expansion of some of the minor movie characters, including Dr. and Mrs. Meade, Aunt Pitty and Uncle Peter (who despite being a slave, seems to run the Hamilton household with an iron fist). Also, while we get a pretty good hint of the love for the Cause in the movie, MM shows us the near-fanaticism involved and how Scarlett — who is often enthralled herself — begins to realize that it's all a charade. (It's especially prominent when Melanie — when told that Ashley had a chance at freeing himself from being a POW — declares that she would prefer him dead than to take the Yankees up on their offer). I think the last page I read of part two has Scarlett talking to Rhett about why didn't the North just pay them for the slaves and be done with it. (I have no idea whether this was ever suggested prior to the Civil War or not). I also read Rhett's comments about the “little fat Dutch woman” (ugh) and also some mention of Lincoln being upset about the death “of Mrs. Brady's five sons” but not giving a hoot about the Confederate POW's. I have a very vague recollection of a Mrs. Brady so will have to do more of a search on that.

Finally — and then I need to go start my pot roast LOL — there is Scarlett and her delusion/illusion of her love for Ashley. Him coming home on leave didn't help matters, and I love how MM describes her heroine's dismay at knowing that the closed bedroom door (behind which are Ashley and Melanie) shuts her out of her influence on him. Of course we have the scene between Scarlett and Ashley before he leaves for the rail station — visualized in the movie as well…and once again, Ashley doesn't just come out and say that he doesn't love her. Cause we know he cares on some level. Which is why I'd like to bash his head into the closest wall! LOL

Well, that's it for my ramblings for now. Hope you all are still enjoying the book as much as I am! Got to go wash dishes and start my roast.

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 30, 2011
11:20 am
Avatar
MegC
Georgia, US
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 426
Member Since:
October 31, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
112sp_Permalink sp_Print

I am so far behind on my reading, and I made the mistake of downloading a book on my Kindle that I'm DYING to start, and I'm having a hard time avoiding the temptation :-D.

However, I have read up to Rhett's fall from grace.  I'm not sure that I understand his motivations for his self-destructive behavior, or if he just couldn't bear the charade any longer.

I had never read Ashley's letter to Melanie THAT closely before, but one interesting point that I found was that he wrote that times were changing and that he would never really be able to fit in with the new world, nor did he believe that Melly would be able to, either, because she and he are too much alike.  I feel like this shows that Ashley doesn't know Melly as well as he thinks he does.

Anyway, when I stopped reading Rhett had just brought Scarlett the green bonnet from France in an attempt to lure her out of her pseudo-mourning.  

But I have recently gotten to thinking (and this is so much further into the book than I am now):  Why does Rhett bother to marry Scarlett?  I know he tells her after Frank's death that she's been married to an old man and a boy and that it was time for her to marry someone her own age.  He KNOWS when he marries her that she believes herself to still be in love with Ashley, and it becomes increasingly obvious throughout their marriage that this truly does bother him even though, if he doesn't love her as he claims, it shouldn't.  I have a theory:  I think, for all the years preceding their marriage, Rhett had tried to SHOW Scarlett how he was, truly, the better choice for her.  When it was apparent that this wasn't working, he figured the only way to show her was to just marry her.  Just as Scarlett believes that she would change Ashley if they were to marry, Rhett is guilty of the same thing, essentially. 

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

April 30, 2011
11:29 am
Avatar
MegC
Georgia, US
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 426
Member Since:
October 31, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

TinaII2None said:

It's also been interesting to see the expansion of some of the minor movie characters, including Dr. and Mrs. Meade, Aunt Pitty and Uncle Peter (who despite being a slave, seems to run the Hamilton household with an iron fist). Also, while we get a pretty good hint of the love for the Cause in the movie, MM shows us the near-fanaticism involved and how Scarlett — who is often enthralled herself — begins to realize that it's all a charade. (It's especially prominent when Melanie — when told that Ashley had a chance at freeing himself from being a POW — declares that she would prefer him dead than to take the Yankees up on their offer). I think the last page I read of part two has Scarlett talking to Rhett about why didn't the North just pay them for the slaves and be done with it. (I have no idea whether this was ever suggested prior to the Civil War or not). I also read Rhett's comments about the “little fat Dutch woman” (ugh) and also some mention of Lincoln being upset about the death “of Mrs. Brady's five sons” but not giving a hoot about the Confederate POW's. I have a very vague recollection of a Mrs. Brady so will have to do more of a search on that.


I looked it up.  I didn't find a Mrs. Brady losing five sons, but I did find a Mrs. Bixby who it was thought lost all five of her sons in various battles.  Apparently it was later discovered that two of her sons died in battle, one deserted, one was honorably discharged, and the final one either deserted or died a POW.  And Lincoln supposedly wrote her a letter expressing his condolences, although apparently Mrs. Bixby had Confederate sympathaties and, if said letter ever existed, she destroyed it since she didn't like Lincoln.

Regarding the minor characters, I truly feel that there are few authors who understand and grasp their characters as thoroughly as MM did.  I never read a line of dialogue that seems unusual for a particular character, and this goes for all her characters–major and minor.


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

April 30, 2011
1:37 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
114sp_Permalink sp_Print

MegC said:

I am so far behind on my reading, and I made the mistake of downloading a book on my Kindle that I'm DYING to start, and I'm having a hard time avoiding the temptation :-D.
 

However, I have read up to Rhett's fall from grace.  I'm not sure that I understand his motivations for his self-destructive behavior, or if he just couldn't bear the charade any longer.
 

I had never read Ashley's letter to Melanie THAT closely before, but one interesting point that I found was that he wrote that times were changing and that he would never really be able to fit in with the new world, nor did he believe that Melly would be able to, either, because she and he are too much alike.  I feel like this shows that Ashley doesn't know Melly as well as he thinks he does.
 

Anyway, when I stopped reading Rhett had just brought Scarlett the green bonnet from France in an attempt to lure her out of her pseudo-mourning.  
 

But I have recently gotten to thinking (and this is so much further into the book than I am now):  Why does Rhett bother to marry Scarlett?  I know he tells her after Frank's death that she's been married to an old man and a boy and that it was time for her to marry someone her own age.  He KNOWS when he marries her that she believes herself to still be in love with Ashley, and it becomes increasingly obvious throughout their marriage that this truly does bother him even though, if he doesn't love her as he claims, it shouldn't.  I have a theory:  I think, for all the years preceding their marriage, Rhett had tried to SHOW Scarlett how he was, truly, the better choice for her.  When it was apparent that this wasn't working, he figured the only way to show her was to just marry her.  Just as Scarlett believes that she would change Ashley if they were to marry, Rhett is guilty of the same thing, essentially. 
 


Sorry to hear you're behind Meg, but believe me, I understand. We are starting Derby Week in Louisville (the big day is next Saturday), which means our department will be even busier than usual. But I hope to keep up my own reading during commutes and spare moments.
 

I just wanted to tell you that YOU have thrown out some fascinating ideas and I love your answer to your own question — why did Rhett marry Scarlett. Seems that my grandmother, mother and I discussed that but I'm not sure we came up with anything (although your ideas sound like something my mom, rest her soul, would have thought of). I always puzzled over that too. Why the heck would you marry a woman when you know she supposedly has no feelings for you, but we humans are a complicated bunch of creatures. But it's an interesting premise.
 

In their final scene together — as far as the movie I should add — remember that Rhett tells her that he wanted to spoil her, etc. I guess in the way he had Bonnie. Even earlier, when they visit Tara, out of love he tells her to remake the plantation as it was before the War. You can see the delight in her eyes…and Rhett has no qualms about asking for a big new house in Atlanta to make everyone that's been mean to her “pea green with envy.” He is like an indulgent father or lover — why sure, you go ahead and make it as big and gaudy as you like! LOL But one of the more tender moments (not sure if it's in the book or not) was when Scarlett had that nightmare and Rhett is there to calm her. I think…no, we know he honestly loves her at that moment. And yes, he does believe he can or HAS changed her — until that scene in the movie when he comes to her bedroom, says he can have his dinner brought up, he is being very loving…and then Scarlett drops the bombshell that she doesn't want any more children. You see that concern on his face. He thinks it's health issues…and then he steps on that frame containing that photo of the long-suffering Mr. Wilkes. He's hurt, he still loves her…but now it's all back to being snide, cynical and ready for battle. **(SIDE-NOTE: I mentioned this before in another thread, but a making of book says that there was an office scene in which Ashley dangles the old carrot again and Scarlett believes she has a chance.
 

As for Rhett's self-destruction — yes, dropping the charade makes sense and the man is the type not to give a hoot what anybody thinks. It just tickles me that — in the movie — he behaves as though Scarlett's sins have been much worst than his when it comes to repenting for Bonnie! LOL

If I had read Ashley's letter before, I completely forgot it. (Tends to happen — we're talking about Ashley here LOL). That was why it fascinated me that MM detailed it and analyzed it (through Scarlett's eyes) so thoroughly. And we do get to the heart of Ashley — he is afraid of the change, and as you added, fears that Melanie is or will be too. Melanie, as we see from the movie at least, remains a sweet and loving woman…but she is the stronger of the two and she was as much on the battlefield as was Ashley, and she obvioiusly held it all together. Ashley can't even find a friggin' sock when she's dead. He puts their son to bed when the child complains “Why do I have to go to bed when it's not even night?” What is Ashley's reply? “It is nighttime” — or something like that. Yep, for him it is night. It's been night for him from the moment war was even hinted at. I'm not calling him a coward — he obviously showed bravery in the field. I'm talking about his soul. He's stuck in time and has no interest in changing; okay, I won't be too mean on him and just say that maybe he can't.

And I think I've just talked more about Ashley Wilkes than I ever thought possible! 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 30, 2011
2:10 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
115sp_Permalink sp_Print

MegC said:


I looked it up.  I didn't find a Mrs. Brady losing five sons, but I did find a Mrs. Bixby who it was thought lost all five of her sons in various battles.  Apparently it was later discovered that two of her sons died in battle, one deserted, one was honorably discharged, and the final one either deserted or died a POW.  And Lincoln supposedly wrote her a letter expressing his condolences, although apparently Mrs. Bixby had Confederate sympathaties and, if said letter ever existed, she destroyed it since she didn't like Lincoln.

Regarding the minor characters, I truly feel that there are few authors who understand and grasp their characters as thoroughly as MM did.  I never read a line of dialogue that seems unusual for a particular character, and this goes for all her characters–major and minor.


I'll have to go back and see if I can find Rhett's reference — I thought he said Brady, but maybe it was Bixby. Or perhaps it was Rhett not having all the facts himself — sort of like him making Victoria “Dutch”. LOL But thanks for the background on that story. So her sons fought for the Union then? But considering the War and that you had brothers fighting brothers, sons fighting fathers, etc. her having Confederate sympathies would not have been a surprise.

And AMEN to what you said about MM and her characters. One moment in the book — and partially captured in the movie — was when they get the first day's reports from Gettysburg as far as the casualty list. Mrs. Meade has read Darcy's letter about n eeding boots and is trying to organize a pair…then learns that he won't need them. The sisters who only had a brother for a relative just ride away in silence. The one girl — I think Fanny Elsing — who learns of the death of her secret beau. Just MM's mention of the newsletter being dropped to the ground is worth a million words. You saw it in the movie, when one old woman, fighting back tears, walks up to her husband. One look tells him everything, but he bites back his emotion, turns on his heels and begins to conduct the band in Dixie. Everyone behaved as you would expect, whether in a line or in how she has them behave. (Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky couldn't have done it better LOL and I've read them both!!)

I'm curious and this is kind of tied into GWTW only in that it deals with the Cause. Have any of you ever seen Birth of a Nation directed by D.W. Griffith? If you don't know about the movie, it's a silent “classic” — well, depending on how you define classic. It was one of the first major American silent movies I guess you could call epic; Griffith's use of the camera was unlike anything seen up to that point in the American cinema. It's the story that is controversial, even now, and makes anything we read or see in GWTW the movie or book pretty much pale. I'm a movie buff and a silent movie fan, but even that one is hard to take. Nutshell version: Northern family and Southern family are friends and lovers then the war breaks out. Most of those playing slaves are in black face; the ones played by real black actors are usually the “evil” colored people. There's a complicated side story about a Senator or Congressman who wants to free the slaves, but I think it turns out he's biracial and wants to become King of the former slaves. After the War, one of the girls in the Southern family jumps to her death when a black man tells her he loves her — and we get the impression he intends to possibly rape her. Her brother starts the KKK. The epic climax is of some of the whites fighting off an army of the “evil” blacks…and they are finally rescued by (get ready) The Ku Klux Klan, who then put those “evil” blacks back into their place. I try to view the movie as a student of silent cinema and I hate PC, but boy oh boy is it hard with that one. Nothing in GWTW has riled me up as much as Birth of a Nation. Yell It's a cartoonish movie in addition to being racist, and honestly, it's so laughable you almost can't take it seriously.

Whereas GWTW is an incredible saga as a book or movie, BoaN is nearly as bad as…well, I almost said The Other Boleyn Girl but maybe not. 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 30, 2011
5:39 pm
Avatar
MegC
Georgia, US
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 426
Member Since:
October 31, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
116sp_Permalink sp_Print

I completely believe that Rhett probably calls her Mrs. Brady instead of Bixby–exactly like calling Queen Victoria Dutch.  Who knows?  MM probably heard the story from someone who lived during the War who may or may not have remembered the correct name.  Or it may be her making the point that if it didn't pertain directly to the him, Rhett wasn't incredibly interested in the correct details.

I admire authors who are able to so clearly articulate the demeanors and mannerisms and personalities of their characters.  Sometimes you read a book and it seems like an author paints his/her characters into a conversational corner and so one of the characters winds up saying something that is completely out of the ordinary, but I never get the impression that MM was ever at a loss for words during her dialogues between Scarlett and Rhett.  Scarlett's dialogue is actually pretty easy, if you think about it, because she can always just say “Fiddle-dee-dee” or call Rhett a cad or vile and that gets her out of a lot.  Rhett's dialogue, though, is quite a bit more complicated and it would have been easy for MM to have gotten herself stuck, but there's an easy flow to her conversations that seem so natural and truthful and believable.

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

April 30, 2011
6:33 pm
Avatar
Anyanka
La Belle Province
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2345
Member Since:
November 18, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
117sp_Permalink sp_Print

Scarlett's dialogue is actually pretty easy, if you think about it, because she can always just say “Fiddle-dee-dee” or call Rhett a cad or vile and that gets her out of a lot.  Rhett's dialogue, though, is quite a bit more complicated and it would have been easy for MM to have gotten herself stuck, but there's an easy flow to her conversations that seem so natural and truthful and believable.


The easy flow of the dialogue was one of the things I loved about the book. MM got under the skin of all her characters. There was some stilted dialogue but that was more the situation rather than the characterisation.

It's always bunnies.

May 1, 2011
12:04 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
118sp_Permalink sp_Print

MegC said:

I completely believe that Rhett probably calls her Mrs. Brady instead of Bixby–exactly like calling Queen Victoria Dutch.  Who knows?  MM probably heard the story from someone who lived during the War who may or may not have remembered the correct name.  Or it may be her making the point that if it didn't pertain directly to the him, Rhett wasn't incredibly interested in the correct details.

I admire authors who are able to so clearly articulate the demeanors and mannerisms and personalities of their characters.  Sometimes you read a book and it seems like an author paints his/her characters into a conversational corner and so one of the characters winds up saying something that is completely out of the ordinary, but I never get the impression that MM was ever at a loss for words during her dialogues between Scarlett and Rhett.  Scarlett's dialogue is actually pretty easy, if you think about it, because she can always just say “Fiddle-dee-dee” or call Rhett a cad or vile and that gets her out of a lot.  Rhett's dialogue, though, is quite a bit more complicated and it would have been easy for MM to have gotten herself stuck, but there's an easy flow to her conversations that seem so natural and truthful and believable.


When I pick up the book later today, I'll double-check the last name and see then let you all know.

I love the comments about Rhett not being particularlyinterested in things that had nothing directly to do with him. For a man who considered himself so superior to many of the others, he could often be incredibly silly about things.

You are so right about the dialogue, attitudes, etc. of the characters, and how she even pays attention to the protagonists, the supporting characters and even the lesser ones.  The Tarletons have more depth than they were given in the movie (likely due to time restraints); I am amazed about Uncle Peter, someone who — as I've mentioned before — is a slave but still behaves as the man of a household that he nearly runs with an iron fist (whereas in the movie, the great Eddie “Rochester” Anderson is reduced to little more than shouting at Belle or chasing after the last rooster in Atlanta); even Aunt Pitty, who appears as little more than a stupid, childish comic foil in the film, is more three-dimensional in the novel. Mammy — I love how she tells Scarlett what she doesn't want to hear (“I don't see Mr. Ashley asking for to marry you”…or something like that LOL). Sometimes I'm afraid that novelists and screenwriters often set up straw men characters so that through them either all of their opinions can be launched, or — as you mentioned Meg about them being “painted into a controversial corner” — Straw Man #1 says his/her piece, stays silent because the writer has created Straw Man #2 who spends a page or two with an opposing argument. That's not reality — that's a two man show and not a very good one! 

That may be why MM's writing has stayed with me most of my life. There aren't a lot of writers that do, even among the great ones. (It's times like that when I'm grateful for movie and miniseries adapatations 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)

May 1, 2011
12:07 pm
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
119sp_Permalink sp_Print

Anyanka said:


The easy flow of the dialogue was one of the things I loved about the book. MM got under the skin of all her characters. There was some stilted dialogue but that was more the situation rather than the characterisation.

 


All I can add is AMEN! That's why I'm so careful when I buy a translation of some great work (such as War and Peace). The wrong sentence structure, etc. can destroy the intent of the author if you're not careful.

I just hope that whoever has translated GWTW was able to make it as wonderful in German, French, Spanish, etc. as MM did in English!

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)

May 2, 2011
7:46 am
Avatar
TinaII2None
Kentucky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 393
Member Since:
June 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
120sp_Permalink sp_Print

Good morning all! Boy ended up sleeping later than I intended – – and I go back to work tonight. (Where the heck do these off days go?)

Anyway, first thing I did (after getting coffee) was starting changing my tote bags out and I grabbed up my copy of GWTW. Rhett got it right — it IS Mrs. Bixby! (I may have been reading so quickly that I saw it as Brady because Bixby isn't that common a surname). So I apologize — I got it wrong, not Rhett! Laugh (Hey, I'm not the one who called Victoria Dutch! LOL) Here's the context:

“Oh Captain Butler, isn't there some way — Can't you use your influence and have him exchanged?” cried Melanie.

“Mr. Lincoln, the merciful and just, who cries large tears over Mrs. Bixby's five boys, hasn't any tears to shed about the thousands of Yankees dying at Andersonville,” said Rhett, his mouth twisting. “He doesn't care if they all die. The order is out. No exchanges.”

Now I won't argue Rhett's complete comment about the POW policy of 1863, but anyway, there you go.

Happy reading everyone.

 

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)

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 214

Currently Online:
12 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Anyanka: 2345

Boleyn: 2285

Sharon: 2119

Bella44: 934

DuchessofBrittany: 847

Mya Elise: 782

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 0

Members: 426009

Moderators: 0

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 13

Topics: 1696

Posts: 23623

Newest Members:

Wayne, Louiss, sadamalam646, MagnusJ, oliverwright, Safarao

Administrators: Claire: 998