Just this week I was re-reading Gone with the Wind, mainly to study the amazing character of Scarlett O’Hara. I like to feature strong, independent women as the heroines in my own novels, and it’s hard to find a better role model than Scarlett! She broke the rules, did whatever she wanted, did not care whether her actions were frowned upon by “proper” society.
Yesterday, a friend picked up my Kindle and noticed what I was reading. “You can’t go wrong with classic literary fiction,” he remarked. My wife overheard this and said, “Sorry to contradict you, but Gone with the Wind isn’t considered a literary classic—the highbrows look down on it, even today.”
I had forgotten that sad fact. You won’t find a copy of Gone with the Wind in the libraries of very many literature professors. When Margaret Mitchell wrote the book, her intention was to entertain, not to make any earth-shattering, philosophical statements about the meaning of life, or push a pet political agenda. And—God's nightgown!—she certainly accomplished her goal.
We decided that in penning Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell did exactly what Scarlett O’Hara would have done in the same situation—she wrote the book she wanted to write, and the critics be damned!
Go for it, Scarlett!