20 Something: I am Scarlett O’Hara (if only in my dreams)

After working a ridiculous couple of exhausting shifts, I had fully intended to collapse into a nap stretching until I had to get up for work tomorrow. Instead, I ended up having favorite classic movie night and starting on some Christmas gift knitting.

The idea when I got home was to put on Gone With the Wind and fall asleep. I guess I forgot just how much I love that film. Before I knew it, Captain Butler was informing me that he didn’t give a damn, and my heart was breaking for Scarlett. I end up watching this movie (and reading the book) at least once a year. I like to check in, I guess you could say. Every time, something new hits me. I connect with it in different ways. Sometimes it’s just that Rhett steals my heart, and I want a man just like him. Sometimes I fall in love with Melanie and wish I could be more like her. Tonight, I spent most of the movie trying to decide if I am Scarlett, or if I just wish that I were.

I remember when I was younger, I hated Scarlett. I thought she was a spoiled brat who should have figured out way in the beginning that Rhett was really the man for her; nearly everything she did made me want to slap her. I’m not sure when I began to love her. But now, I love her flirtatiousness and stubbornness. I love how she is willing to do anything for the people she cares for, and while Scarlett herself is on the top of that list, I also love that she never doubts herself for a moment. She may not be a proper southern lady like Melanie, but there is something infinitely captivating and wonderful about Scarlett, even when she is being such a cad that it is difficult to like her. Even at the end, when her heart is breaking (for real this time, not like the girlish heart break over Ashley in the beginning) she is really thinking about how to re-gather herself to move forward and get back the thing that she wants most.

The ending could be construed as a downer, but this time around I found it strangely uplifting because:

scarlett o'hara

Other favorite quotes:

“You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.” -Rhett Butler (I have quoted this to an ex without remembering where it came from, so I was happy to rediscover it. Such a versatile quote.)

“Don’t look back. It’ll drag at your heart until you can’t do anything but look back.” -Scarlett O’Hara (This is my current mantra; it’s written in large letters on a white board over my bed.)

“Why does a girl have to be so silly to catch a husband?” -Scarlett (I’m right there with her on this one. So much silliness.)

It is difficult for me to explain to people why I love this book/film so much. At it’s most basic, it is simply a Civil War romance. However, Margaret Mitchell created characters and set the scene so wonderfully that it becomes more than that in a way which is difficult to explain to the uninitiated (like my roommate; that was a fun conversation). Oh who am I kidding, I just keep reading it because I’m waiting for my real Rhett Butler to stumble into my life.

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