Hmm… I must declare that I am currently suffering of a book hangover. Not only I can’t move on to another book already, but my head is so boggled up by thoughts about the book and I just can’t straighten them out. I’ve been thinking since last night, since I’ve turned over that final, tiny-fonted page, what I want to write about the second half of the book and the reading experience that has lasted just a little over two weeks as a whole, but I’m not sure I’ve come up with much. So I decided to sit down and just write, that ought to force me to realise the necessity of deciding how I feel about everything.
I think the word I would use to describe this book is ‘sensational’. I think that it’s fascinating how even after 1400 pages about basically the same set of characters, some of their actions can still take you by surprise. And this honestly what the second half of the book was mainly about for me.
Scarlett was, as she had been most of the story, her obstinate, zealous self. But I think she has taught me a lot, even if I’m not half as determined or able to block out people’s talk about me. Here I am, though, after 1448 pages about gossip and rumours and tainted reputations, and I still can’t make up my mind whether the right thing to do is to proceed despite what people say about a person, or if a person should take a moment a consider why those people are saying such things and making such wild accusations. The thing about Scarlett is that she is too dismissive, too self-absorbed. And naturally, as I am with most main characters, I hated her with a passion. I expected that with such a huge book, her personality will change or that her edges will soften up as we progress. And I’m not saying she didn’t change; I’m just saying that my hatred for her was magnified as we went on.
The dilemma is that I understand and appreciate the reasons that led her to do some of these “outrageous” things she has done, and how she neglected her children –she was trying to provide for them. But what about afterwards? About after some of these issues had been resolved. Her avarice for materialistic gains and her voracious appetite for lavish entertainment… Her disloyalty and the ridiculous stances that she takes against people on impulse, her ungratefulness.
I guess what I really appreciated about the book, and what made it so hard for me to actually grasp the fact that I’m done with it is the ending, how all –no, most of the characters because Melly deserved better– got the ending they deserved. Cowards, hypocrites, blind hearts… And most importantly, Scarlett. Several people have commented, telling me that I’d never guess what the ending would be like. And I admit, I was surprised! It was perfect. I cried. Partly because I was saying goodbye to characterswho have become constant elements in my life for the past two weeks or so, and partly because of what was happening. And I don’t think I have cried over a book since the Fault in Our Stars and I have missed that feeling dearly.
The important question is: is Gone with the Wind my new favourite classic? Yes. Most definitely. Probably even my favourite book altogether.
There’s just something about the story’s mood that’s engulfing, something about the environment that’s ensnaring, and something about the characters that drives you so insane you want to shake each of them till their brains are set right. It does open the mind to how society and interactions were at the time.
It’s a complete world in a novel. And I enjoyed every bit of it.
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