Tomorrow, at 4:00 in the morning, the coffee pot will (hopefully) turn itself on, I will pull myself out of bed, toss an overly-full knapsack in the backseat of the car and, coffee mug in hand, will trek down the road to Arizona to spend the next nine days hiking food and water out to different groups in the desert with a volunteer organization called No Más Muertes (No More Deaths). This really is an amazing group with an amazing purpose, and I urge you to click the link and just check out the stellar work this group of people is doing!
So, because of the impending absence, I thought I’d go ahead and post an update on Gone with the Wind. I’m about 110 pages in to the book (which comes in at 833 pages in the edition I’m reading) and am chugging along quite nicely! This is probably the third or fourth time I’ve tried to read the book, and this time seems to be a whole lot smoother than the last. I’m going to chalk it up to mindset, considering thats really the only thing different between this time and the last (which was only about four months ago). As I’ve mentioned, Gone with the Wind is one if, if not my absolute, favorite movie of all time. I wanted to wear the white and gree lace dress that Scarlett wears to the picnic at Twelve Oaks to my senior prom since the first time I saw the movie when I was ten (that never did end up happening, since the cheapest replica I could find was over $1,000). The colors, the embittered love story between Scarlett and Rhett, the simpering fool I consider Ashley Wilkes to be – everything about the movie struck me as marvelous.
I guess I was expecting the book to carry me away with the same passion and speed that the movie did. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case thus far. Don’t get me wrong – I’m enjoying the book! It’s a good story, and it’s good to finally be reading the classic that inspired such an amazing film. But I just don’t feel the same passion in the book that I felt in the movie. I find the written Scarlett to be just as melodramatic, just as embalzoned and just as foolish as she is in the movie, but it’s even worse in the book. However, I’m surprised how much more I love the Ashley Wilkes in the novel than I do the one in the movie. I always saw the Ashley Wilkes of the film as a weak, foolish, simpering man. In the novel, I can understand him much more as a nice man who is caught in a difficult situation who doesn’t want to hurt anyone if he can help it. I’m excited, however, to see the book progress in to what I know is inevitable – the inner strength that Scarlett finds (which spurs the moment when I can like her again as a heroine) and the whirl-wind, back and forth romance that comes along with Rhett Butler. I’m excited, mostly because tomorrow holds 16 hours of open road – perfect reading conditions!
The only other things I’d like to mention are a few more challenges I’m interested in participating in: J. Kaye’s Support Your Local Library Challenge, Telecommuter’s Drama Challenge, and, finally (and I do mean FINALLY! I promise! No more!) I’m going to jump on board the 1% Well-Read Challenge which, luckily for me, doesn’t start until February, giving me plenty of time to go ahead and make up my list. Again, for info on all the challenges I’m participating in, see the Challenges tab at the top of the page.
Wish me luck and happy reading!