This morning I watched Gone With the Wind. I was surprised by how long the movie actually was. The movie didn’t finish until close to 2 p.m. I was never so glad to see a movie end in my life and very few movies make me want to do that. I can’t tell why the movie is such a classic. Scarlett O’Hara doesn’t nothing but whine and carry on throughout the whole entire movie. She schemes and whines about Ashley Wilkes, pushing aside everything and everybody, including Rhett Butler who loved her so much. It was only until it was too late did she finally realize that she loved Rhett with all her heart and that Ashley loved his wife very much.
The other thing that put me off was the fact that everything was so idyllic. The slaves acted like simpletons and would bend over backwards to do everything for their masters and mistresses. I’m sure there were kind masters and wonderful mistresses back during the Civil War and before. I’m sure their slaves loved them and would do everything they could to make their slaves happy, but that’s a very, very small minority. Most slaves were beaten and tortured throughout their lives, torn apart from their parents, siblings, and spouses because their owners wanted to make some money off of them. Many of them dreamed of freedom and escape.
And maybe that’s why I don’t like it: it’s too idyllic. The movie (and the book from what I’ve heard), pays homage to the Old South. They idolize a time and place that was full of pain, torture, and loss. But that’s just me, though. A lot of southerners love the book because it represents a time before their world was torn apart. They picture a land that was more innocent, simple, and beautiful.
And that’s what’s sad about it. We will always idolize a time gone by. The current times are wrought with so many turbulent changes that the past seems so much better. But there never really is, because every generation has its own turbulence. The edge of pain just softens as time goes on so that future generations forget about it and only remember the good.
I heard the book was good. I might try to read the book again. I might have more appreciation for Margaret Mitchell’s story then instead of basing my opinion off of a movie that wasn’t well done (in my humble opinion).