(I'm splitting this into two posts because its quite massive)
Or alternatively title, The One Where I Admit I Am A Huge Nerd.
While sitting in front of a blank screen trying to put together thoughts to write a cohesive, thoughtful blog post I was distracting myself with Twitter. Scrolling through the many tweets of my friends I stumbled upon this tweet in which Ashley declares she's never seen Gone With the Wind which literally made me choke on my drink, I mean really? The move has been around for 70 years, today! A few minutes later when Kyla admitted to never seeing the movie, my heart broke a little.
You see, Gone With the Wind, is kind of a big deal for me. Not only is it my favorite movie of all time its also my collection. Yes, you read that right. I am a collector of all things Gone With the Wind. So much so, my friend and fellow blogger Jen wrote a paper about it a few months ago for one of her graduate classes. The following are her questions (hopefully she doesn't mind my posting them) and my answers, I know its longer than most of my posts but hey, like the movie (its four hours) its worth it. Hopefully it will encourage more of you to watch this great movie classic (or watch it again)!
What or Who first introduced you to 'Gone With The Wind'? Honestly, I don’t recall my first encounter with Gone With The Wind (neither does my mother, I checked with her). I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love the movie. My mom tells me that I would sit through the whole movie and recite lines along with the characters as a very young child (like 5/6). I’m not sure if I saw it in passing or heard it in-utero (perhaps my mother should have played French tapes?) but its definitely been a life long love. Neither my mom nor anyone else in my family is really as enamored with the movie as I am, so chances are very likely I caught it in passing and it was one of the few things that really held my interest (still does).
Can you describe your feelings when you first saw the movie, and were those feelings the reason why you decided to collect anything related to the movie? I don’t remember my first viewing of the movie, but I would imagine they were very similar to the feelings I have every time I watch the movie. From the first stanza of the overture, I become completely swept up in the dialogue, the characters, the costuming, the music, and the scenery. I literally lose myself in the movie and want to be Scarlett O’Hara. I still feel anxious at certain parts of the movie and cry at a few other places. Every. Single. Time.
I am sure my love of the movie (and the fact that I loved to dramatically recite the “As God is My Witness” monologue) played a huge part in my acquiring my collection. I am a complete romantic (but don’t let that get out) at heart. The movie is a very much more romanticized version of the Old South than the novel and most of the collectibles available reflect that. One of my favorite things about most of my collection are the various dresses the women are dressed in from my plates, to dolls, to music boxes. Most of the artists who design the collectibles are able to perfectly capture the emotions behind each moment they are depicting.
The biggest part of my Gone With The Wind Collection are my plates. I have over 40 of them. As a girl my mom would take me to this little shop nestled between two big department stores called Little Portion Treasures (sadly its no longer in business). It was the sort of store that my mom constantly reminded me to “not touch” anything out of fear I would break it. They had Franklin Mint dolls, San Francisco Music Box Company collectibles in just about everything you could imagine, and a huge Roman angel collection display. My favorite part of the store was the plate displays upstairs. You had to have an employee (usually a tiny, wrinkled old woman who was the absolute sweetest) escort you the narrow steps. Any decorative plate you could ever want was on the walls – The Wizard of OZ, Native American pictures, angels, cats, clowns, Norman Rockwell pictures, etc. They had maybe a dozen or two Gone With the Wind plates that I would have probably stared at all day if my mom had let me. They were set in round oak frames all clustered together. I just knew that one day I wanted to have plate display like that. (And now I do, three of them but not in round oak frames.)
Have you looked into or done research pertaining to the writer of the novel? Have you read the novel? The first time I read Gone With the Wind was for a 6th grade book report. My teacher actually didn’t believe that I had read the entire novel and set up a conference with my mom. I’ve read it numerous times since then. I have read a little bit about Margaret Mitchell but not extensively.
Do you enjoy the Civil War aspect of the book/movie, or is it more just the enjoyment of the story and it could be set really at any time and any place? As a history major, of course the Civil War aspect is majorly appealing. In my opinion the war itself is almost like another character in the book/movie. So much of the actual story is based around the war. I’m not sure that the story could be set at any place or time because so many of the characters decisions and actions are a direct effect of the war. I don’t know that the character would be who they develop into if it wasn’t based during that time period. I suppose some of the characters lives could run parallel: girl meets guy, struggles against odds and through hardships, loses just about everything, pines for best friends husband, then finally marries guy, etc but the story as a whole wouldn’t be the same. The name of the novel/book itself is, as the opening credits of the movie describes, a story about a “civilization gone with the wind.” The story (at least for me) isn’t just about the characters though, its about a way of life coming to an end and the learning to move forward to make a new life from that.