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Word Count: 996
Margaret Mitchells romantic epic Gone With the Wind owes its remarkable popularity to the climate of sudden self-destruction and dreariness the Depression created The Old Souths grandeur coupled with its Civil War-era decadence provided much-needed escapism for readers as well as paralleling the USs own plight in the 20s and 30s In addition Scarlett OHaras feminist role her devotion to her land and her indomitable optimism lent hope to those who had lost faith in the American Dream A spirit of beautiful colorful life at the onset sets up the Souths inevitable destruction and magnifies the greatness of the land and its people Spring had come early that year with warm quick rains and sudden frothing of pink peach blossoms and dogwood dappling with white stars the dark river swamp and far-off hills Already the plowing was nearly finished and the bloody glory of the sunset colored the fresh-cut furrows of red Georgia clay to even redder hues 10 The foreshadowing of the bloody glory of sunset is striking but idealism is the main theme presented here Scarletts status as a second-generation immigrant adds further to this atmosphere of opportunity Her father a proud Irishman proclaims Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything for Oetis the only thing in this world that lastsAnd to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them the land they live on is like their mother 39 The idea of an undersized foreigner claiming a large stake in America as his own must surely have fueled the imagination of the great influx of recent immigrants many of whom used GWTW as a primer to American literature Hanging over the tranquil South is the specter of war Rhett introducing his role as the novels realist explains to a group of war hawks Why all we have is cotton and slaves and arrogance The Northd lick us in a month 113 The Souths economic dependency and
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