Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gone With the Wind Quotes

In honor of my second reading of Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (I read it for the first time about six years ago, and now I'm reading it again, to be followed up with Scarlett, the sequel) I offer up my two favorite quotes, so far. (The subject matter is rather typical). If you like it, I suggest reading the book. My copy is 1037 pages long and they are the most easily-read pages I have ever enjoyed.

The heavy hominy stuck in her throat like glue and never before had the mixture of parched corn and ground-up yams that passed for coffee been so repulsive. Without sugar or cream it was bitter as gall, for the sorghum used for "long-sweetening" did little to improve the taste. After one swallow she pushed her cup away. If for no other reason she hated Yankees because they kept her from having real coffee with sugar and thick cream in it.

Now that's real privation. That last part is the one I identify most with - it's so easy to harbor bitter feelings for anything that comes between me and my coffee.
This next part is very beautiful. I love when people talk about a love of the land, it's something hard to explain, sometimes, and Margaret Mitchell always puts her finger right on it, and keeps it there. She really understood the South. Since the sequel Scarlett was written by a different author, I hope she keeps that spirit intact.

When she looked at Tara she ecould understand, in part, why wars were fought. Rhett was wrong when he said men fought wars for money. No, they fought for swelling acres, softly furrowed by the plow, for pastures green with stubby cropped grass, for lazy yellow rivers and white houses that were cool amid magnolias. These were the only things worth fighting for, the red earth which was theirs and would be their sons', the red earth which would bear cotton for their sons and their sons' sons.

And from Gerald O'Hara, Scarlett O'Hara's father:

"Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything...for 'tis the only thing in this world that lasts, and don't you be forgetting it! 'Tis the only thing worth working for, worth fighting for - worth dying for."
"Oh, Pa," she [Scarlett] said disgustedly, "you talk like an Irishman!"
"Have I ever been ashamed of it? No, 'tis proud I am. And don't be forgetting that you are half Irish, Miss! And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them the land they live on is like their mother. . ."

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