Gone with the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell
reviewed by Monica Collins, class of 2017
In the early 1860’s, the American South was very different from what it is like now. Set in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, this story examines the teen and young adult years of the fictional character Scarlett O’Hara, the belle of the county. At the beginning of the story, Scarlet is a young, up and becoming 16 year old who is mainly concerned with the whereabouts of the boys in the county and the latest barbeques and balls. Finding a husband was all that really mattered to her. But then her life is turned upside down when the Civil War hits, and her husband of two weeks is killed in combat, leaving her alone with their unborn child with no money. The Civil War changes all aspects of life in the South. With all the slaves freed, there are no field hands to harvest crops and tend to fields, causing the southern economy to go down the drain. Many once rich families at the start of the story are now forced to deal with now painfully realistic burden of poverty and hunger. Over the course of the story, the war changes every aspect of Scarlet’s life, degrading her from the carefree belle of the county who lives in a beautiful mansion, to a cold, hard, war torn mother who loses almost everything near and dear to her including all her wealth. But this book is not purely history. This story also follows Scarlett’s love life as she deals with her “true love”, Ashley Wilkes, her many husbands, and the man who just can’t get enough of her, Rhett Butler. This story gives a different perspective on history through the eyes on the ignorant white slave owner. Over all, I found this book to be very interesting and hard to put down. It gave me a new perspective of the Civil war and the economy of the South.