Monday, July 28, 2014

Dijango and Gone With the Wind

I read a negative review of the movie "Gone with the Wind".  The writer for the Atlanta Journal was offended by the black characters and the story in general.

Margaret Mitchell's book tried to dispel the romance and glamour associated with the antebellum South. Then like all Hollywood adaptations of a 700 page book, they blew perspective and reality out the window. In the book, the characters were more complex.

I'm not defending slavery. You can never underestimate the cruelty of people coupled with indiscriminate power.

As a retired teacher, I have listened to many dreams. It is important to have dreams. It is also important to recognize that success and wealth does not always mean a life has been well lived. The value of a human being is not based on their mistakes but a balance of their mistakes with their successes.

Pride is a sin in that it makes us do dumb things to save face and prevents us from appreciating what we do have.

Both of my grandfather's walked behind a mule. My dad and his brothers joked that they enlisted and went to fight World War II in order to get a pair of shoes.

Those images are people who in spite of circumstances persevered. Abraham Lincoln's quote "God must love the common man, he made so many of them."  The relationships between people and the circumstances they live in is complex.

Again, I agree there is nothing lovely about slavery or being a slave. If someone remained with an owner after emancipation, it would be because of a strong, positive relationship or the lack of opportunity to support themselves, or like a bad marriage - stay because you can't see anything better.

As a young woman reading the book, I saw a woman who didn't wait for a man or society to open doors. She did it herself albeit stepping on a lot toes to get there. What I liked about this review is it opens my mind to how point of view affects what we hear in a story.

I never realized it but which character in "Gone With the Wind" would I be most like. I would be Mamie. I would say the relationships are clearly fiction. But look around at all our relationships. We are loyal to people who don't deserve our loyalty and friends at times to people we don't like. You know what I mean. People are strange.

I thought the book "And Ladies of the Club" by Helen Hooven Santmyer is a better piece of fictional history during the mid 1800's.

Take care.

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