Gone with the Wind and the Southern Way of Life: the Civil War as described in Margaret Mitchell’s Novel
Georgieva Hristova, Svetozara
Universitat de Lleida
Facultat de Lletres
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This essay examines the American Civil War of 1861 – 1865, which is also known as the bloodiest war that the United States has ever experienced. The pretext for the war was the abolition of slavery in the South, and after many battles the Southern states lost: as a consequence, they experienced major changes in their economic and social life. This interesting piece from American history can be traced out throughout the characters’ lives in the novel Gone with the Wind which has been thoroughly analyzed in order to draw nearer and to comprehend the changes in the Southern way of life before and after the war. The author, Margaret Mitchell, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up with the stories about the war. As a result, Gone with the Wind studies not only its causes, but also the years after its end – a period which is not generally a subject of history and receives little attention – and the effects that such reversals have on former planters and slaves. From the position of contemporaneity, the reader can see that such changes in a society do not end with the laying down of an act, or in this case the end of the war, but they continue during many years; thus, the modern world can draw conclusions and lessons for events that are happening at the moment.
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