Slay the Opening Hook: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
The book starts and ends with Scarlett O’Hara. To my mind, she is one of the most complex characters gracing the pages of a novel.
She is not beautiful the author tells us. Yet she has oodles of charm, the kind that captivated all the young men she meets, wrapping them round her little finger as she pleased.
Her charm defies conventional notions of beauty. The hook immediately immerses us in the world of the American South during the Civil War era, promising a story rich with love, ambition, and the ever-changing fortunes of Scarlett.
Only when you finish reading the story do you realize that Scarlett was the embodiment of the Southern way of life. Like her, it defied conventional notions of beauty—with the slaves and all the horrors that implied—but that the life had its own irresistible charm. You could hate it for its frivolous selfishness, but you had to admire its spirit. It had a tenacity that was determined to survive no matter what.
The story takes us on an epic journey through Scarlett’s life, from the genteel society of pre-war Georgia to the harsh realities of Reconstruction. Scarlett’s captivating charm and resilience drive the narrative as she navigates a changing world.
While Darcy has his own fan following, my vote goes to Rhett Butler all the way. He is the stronger character but like the gentleman he is, he lets the lady shine… and makes her look good with his graceful moves.
The novel is a sweeping saga of love, loss, and the enduring spirit of a determined woman during one of America’s most tumultuous periods.
This is also the only novel whose movie screenplay follows the novel faithfully. What did you like best about the novel/movie?
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