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Scarlett O'Hara and Rett Butler - what do people think of her character?

(11 Posts)
kim147 Fri 14-Mar-14 18:41:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stingaling Fri 14-Mar-14 20:36:22

This used to be my favourite book but the fact he more or less rapes her and that makes her fall in love with him has put me off it a bit in recent years -and that's definitely one aspect that's quite un feminist!

There are so many sides to Scarlett and the book though so there are lots of great aspects.I live her single mindedness, her pride and the fact she is a strong (if ruthless) businesswoman.

almondcake Fri 14-Mar-14 22:15:02

Alice Walker wrote a chapter on why she thought she wasn't a feminist character. I think it is in You can't keep a good woman down.

AskBasil Sat 15-Mar-14 11:33:42

I never read the book so don't really know if there are any nuances.

But in the film, she came across to me as a misogynist man's hysterical fantasy of a bitchy beautiful woman. Shallow, vain, selfish, eating her heart out for a man who wasn't interested in her while not appreciating the man who was and essentially only really being fulfilled by being mastered by a man. She's a MRA idea of a ball-breaking woman who just needs a good shag and to be slapped around a bit to get her to fulfil her true womanly self. hmm

I have no idea whether the film character bears any relationship to the book one.

dunsborough Sat 15-Mar-14 11:43:53

She's a survivor. But IMHO far too dependent on men. Whether that is a reflection of the time - I don't know.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 15-Mar-14 11:45:57

I've read the book, not seen the film. You could spend hours deconstructing what's dodgy about it - the writing's good and all, but it's absolutely one of those 'the happy brown people who are slaves' type books.

I think, given she's fictional, it doesn't matter hugely. But Mitchell does make the point pretty early on that she's trapped in a society that treats her like an idiot and expects her to be completely unnatural.

TossedSaladsAndScrambledEggs Sat 15-Mar-14 11:53:05

I love gone with the wind, it is a great story and I always loved Scarlett's character, however I felt she was let down by her ridiculous infatuation with Ashley who was frankly a bit wet.

You're right though, not a great feminist role model, although probably as much as she could be at the time. I like that at least she didn't care what people thought of her and had no desire to conform, apart from maybe her desire to have a tiny waist! Her only constraints were those that society imposed on her, not those she imposed upon herself.

Yes I guess her relationship with Rhett was a bit disfunctional, but he ended up being her "weakness" - it's not like she stayed at home and ironed his shirts!

I like the Tenant of Wildfell Hall for a feminist character. I can't remember much about it now, but I know I read it in my teens and was impressed.

TossedSaladsAndScrambledEggs Sat 15-Mar-14 11:56:17

And yes lrd I don't like the references to slavery being essentially a good thing, but I guess to be historically accurate and written from a confederate POV it was going to reflect those views. I wonder what Margaret Mitchell's personal views were?

AskBasil Sat 15-Mar-14 12:30:41

I LOVE the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Best Bronte book. In fact, only decent Bronte book.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 15-Mar-14 12:45:55

Mmm. As I understand it, even when she wrote it there were eyebrow-raisings about the way she portrayed it. I can believe it's what confederate families like Scarlett's would have wanted to believe was true, however.

There is a truly terrible 'sequel' written from the POV of Scarlett's black half-sister.

Rhett is such a bastard, isn't he? I mean, c'mon, man, you have all this suavely-delivered insight into why she's a bit of a mess mentally, and you cannot man up enough to explain 'er, actually, I love you and I suspect you don't realize, and I think we'd be great'. It annoys me that it validates the trope of 'man cannot express feelings without great pain: woman must deduce them and be punished if she cannot'.

dunsborough Sat 15-Mar-14 14:38:19

Oh yes Rhett was completely opportunistic, waiting until Scarlett was vulnerable before swooping in.

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