Gone With the Wind Background

Gone With the Wind Background

In 1900, Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta, Georgia into the upper class and important Mitchell family. An important part of life in Atlanta, the civil war was a recent history that Mitchell would have heard much about. Gone with the Wind was the only novel she published during her lifetime, and she won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for literature for her work. She took roughly ten years to complete this work, and it was published in 1936.

The novel takes a different perspective on the war. It shows the humanity of the southern plantation owners and the ways in which people considered the Civil War in Atlanta 1936. The story places no blame on the plantation owner and graphically depicts their plights against the “Carpetbaggers” of the North.

There is also an anomaly in the depiction of Scarlett as a strong and independent woman of the South. These types of woman would not have been popular at the time of the novel. In 1936, women found themselves in a similar situation to women after the Civil War. They had taken on the role of provider while their husband or caregiver was away at war, and now that the war is over they must go back to the role of house wife. In Mitchell’s time, there were more acceptances of independent women like Scarlett; she shows many attitudes characteristic of a 1936 woman. Mitchell’s mother was a suffragette and Mitchell was progressive in her beliefs on the state of the woman. This could have influenced her portrayal of Scarlett because it is believed that Scarlett is modeled, in part, on Mitchell.

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