wherein scarlett o’hara quibbles over 3K

A drive by posting. A scene from Gone With The Wind. Here’s the setup. Distraught, Scarlett walks to the edge of her family’s property. In the strange half-light, she waits for her dad. There’s no sign of him on the quiet winding road. Suddenly he gallops up the hill at top speed and enthusiastically leaps over a fence. Scarlett steps out from the shadow of the trees. He dismounts; they talk, they laugh. “I was waiting for you,” says Scarlett. “I just wondered if you bought Dilcey.” “Bought her I did,” her dad replies, “and the price has ruined me.” “Bought her and Prissy, too,” he adds. “Three thousand for the two of them.” “In the name of heaven, Pa, three thousand! And you didn’t need to buy Prissy.”

Oh, one thing thing: Dilcey and Prissy are people. Dilcey is Prissy’s mom, too. They’re part of a family who will be reunited with husband and father for the tidy sum of three thousand dollars.

A fairly steep price, judging by the reaction of our charming self-absorbed heroine.

Mental ecology is often repugnant, but fortunately there’s always a physical world that can be endlessly described:

“The sun was now below the horizon and the red glow at the rim of the world faded into pink. The sky above turned slowly from azure to the delicate blue-green of a robin’s egg, and the unearthly stillness of rural twilight came stealthily down about her. Shadowy dimness crept over the country-side. The red furrows and the gashed red road lost their magical blood color and became plain brown earth.”

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2 Responses to wherein scarlett o’hara quibbles over 3K

  1. Kat says:

    Another very interesting post, showing that there’s more depth to Mitchell than I’d remembered–and may I ask you, why did you decide to read Gone with the Wind?

  2. Largely happenstance. Years ago my wife’s good friend urged us to read it. Two years ago I found a used copy for $2. A year ago Rohan wrote a post on the racism of Gone With The Wind. About a month ago J. Franzen confessed in an interview that he read the book with enjoyment. Last weekend I finished The Power and the Glory and wanted to read a big fat book that I wouldn’t feel compelled to read slowly and study. I saw it sitting there, picked it up, and that was that. I really enjoy Mitchell’s attention to shrubbery and trees, to dogwoods, magnolias, and wisteria. She has a gift for exposition. But action and dialogue is histrionic, so far. Happy Thanksgiving. Warm regards to you and yours.

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