Bowdoin Reads

Cece Howard '16 is reading...

Gone With the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell

Growing up in Atlanta, I was surrounded by reminders of the Civil War that extended from the classroom to local battlefields. As the daughter of a history teacher, I had done my fair share of research on the subject (whether or not I enjoyed reading historical signs along the highway). However, nothing provides a perspective more interesting on such a complex period of our country’s history than Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone with the Wind. The work, inspired by stories Mitchell was told as a child at the turn of the century, follows the journey of Scarlett O’Hara as she transforms from a spoiled Southern belle to a war widow who will do nearly anything for money. Not only does Gone with the Wind examine the private lives of slave owners, but it also exposes the desperation of the Reconstruction Era. This novel is no light read; readers are forced to confront the purpose and effects of the Civil War while questioning whether the heroine is even likeable. However, I highly recommend looking at the Civil War from this alternative perspective.

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