I'm not going to argue what makes a book a "classic." That's for more scholarly brains than mine to deal with. In my mind, Gone With the Wind is truly a classic and what proves this to me is the great discussion taking place over at The Heroine's Bookshelf.
We're talking history, the roles of women and men in that time and place, love, marriage, conformity and courage. Our hostess, Erin, briefly summarizes each chapter and provides a bit of historical background and/or trivia and then she lets us loose to discuss favorite scenes and characters and to ask questions and to share our opinions and thoughts. There's no pressure, no right or wrong answers. We're just a group of people gathered around this novel, much like the boys gathered around Scarlett at the Twelve Oaks barbecue, all of us fascinated by this young woman who has no idea how much her life is about to change.
One of the things that strikes me about this re-read, is how I feel so differently about the some of the characters this time around. I used to love Ashley and his romantic, poetic ways and this time? He comes across more wishy-washy than anything. I used to think Melanie was a boring, goody-two-shoes but this time? I see the steel of her backbone.
Go on over and check out our discussion of Part I and Part II. Meet Scarlett and her sisters, meet Gerald and Ellen, Mammy and Prissy and Pork. Meet the Tarleton boys. Meet Ashley Wilkes, Melanie and Charles Hamilton. And you will never forget Rhett Butler. See the land of Tara stretch before your eyes, smell the barbecue, watch the young, bustling city of Atlanta age and evolve, hear the moans of the wounded, of the dying men, who crowd homes and hospitals as they return from a war they won't win.
To me, this book is a classic in every sense of the word.