Postmortem: Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell managed the rarest of feats: she made us root for an utterly unlikeable character — a female character at that. Throughout Gone with the Wind Scarlett struggles with the fact that she lacks many of the traits most desired in women of her time: humility, docility, and gentleness of spirit.  Though we pride ourselves today on embracing “strong female leads”, even the most independent of female heroines are usually still kind at heart, reaching toward the greater good, kind to children and animals, and ultimately feminine. Scarlett is cutthroat, grasping, and selfish, and worst of all, unapologetic, but you still find yourself wanting her to succeed.