Today's Memory Monday guest is Kate, who recently had her 1 year Blogversary over on her blog, Literary Explorations. We were initially going to swap guest posts and have them go live on the same day, but life gets crazy sometimes.:) So, here is a link to the guest post I wrote for her, about the amazingness that is Contemporary Fiction, and here is Kate, talking about one of her favorite books from childhood. And what do you know, it just so happens that this, is a book that's been banned/challenged numerous times over the years. Let's hear it for celebrating Banned Books Week!:)
I'm Kate and I am currently working on my Master's degree in Middle Childhood Education. My favorite genres are historical and realistic fiction. Philippa Gregory, Sandra Gulland and Lauren Willig are just a few of my favorite authors. When I'm not reading or studying for class, I love watching classic films, discovering new wines, and swing-dancing.
I’ve always been an avid reader, but wasn’t often drawn to the classics. I felt forced to read them in school and even now I’m more likely to pick up the latest YA publication instead of a Jane Austen novel. Now I know there are some good classics out there and I have read my fair share of them, despite my initial hesitations. However most of the time I enjoyed the classics I stumbled on outside of class, the
only exception being To Kill A Mockingbird in 10th grade since I loved Gregory Peck’s role in the movie. Unfortunately this post is not about that novel, although it would have been very appropriate for Banned Books Week. Instead I’ll discuss the book that counted towards all my personal reading requirements in 8th grade English class, Gone With the Wind.
On a whim, I checked out this ginormous book from the library and had all 1,024 pages of it read within a few weeks. I can’t remember if I read the book first or saw the movie, but all I know is that it forever shaped my impression of what a historical novel should be. Rhett and Scarlett are still one of my favorite literary couples and I liked how the novel ended. I was horrified when the sequel Scarlett was published
because it just ruined a perfectly good story for me. The book has to end when Rhett says he doesn’t give a damn because that makes sense. Scarlett realized too late that she was in love with Rhett instead of Ashley and shouldn’t get a second chance to be with him in a sequel. I’m surprised that Margaret Mitchell’s estate
signed off on another book but I guess they just wanted the money from the book sales. Whenever I see Scarlett in stores I can’t help but point it out to whoever is with me just because it’s that horrible of a novel.
Even though the movie is 4 hours long, it still is a very condensed version of the novel. Rhett and Scarlett are the main focus and although it takes place during the Civil War, it’s more of a romantic drama than a war movie. If you’re looking for an accurate portrayal of the war, you won’t find it in Gone with the Wind. I signed up for a Civil War History class this quarter and so far neither Rhett nor Scarlett have shown up. In fact we have yet to study the actual war and it’s been three weeks, but that’s another story.
Gone with the Wind taught me a limited history of the Civil War, but most importantly I learned not to disregard certain books just because they were older and contained a ridiculous number of pages. The classics can be ok reads, but I still can’t help being picky about which ones I’ll give a chance. Since blogging I haven’t picked up any classic novels to read but I did buy a 1936 edition of Gone With the Wind at a used bookstore that I plan on re-reading and reviewing. I might even do a book to film comparison since I haven’t posted one in awhile and need to re-watch my Collectors Edition for my research paper about how the Civil War is portrayed through film.
Thank you so much Kate. I admit that I've never read Gone with the Wind, or seen all of the movie (although I have seen most of it). I started the book when I was around 12, and was shocked to read that Scarlet wasn't actually pretty, because I thought the actress in the movie was gorgeous! It's definitely a book that I've been meaning to actually read for a long time! Hopefully I'll be able to sneak it in soon!