U=US(South) from Gone With the Wind

U was a difficult letter for me. I almost gave up on writing for U because I couldn’t find a book which described such a place. But then, I realized that USA starts from “U” too, and there definitely is a book which had made me aware about US and the civil war is “Gone With the Wind”. I have talked a lot about this book already in my past posts, so I am not going to explain the virtue of the book in this post. So, with “U”, I am going to talk about US, especially Southern US.

I wasn’t aware about much of the history apart from what is told in history classes. I had known about the civil war that happened in US, but while reading history books, one is not able to imagine the pain of losing so many young men, the hunger that must have been perpetual, the fear of the women etc. These are the factors that you see in the stories only. This story brought US-South of that era alive. I could see the parties, the tiny waists, the corsets, the plantations, and even the wars.  

The South of that time felt overloaded with formalities. There is a quote in which Mammy tells Scarlett to eat before the party because “you can always tell a lady by the way she eats in front of folks like a bird”.

The setting is such an integral part of the story that it is a bit difficult to define it in a post. But it does cover the horrors of the war and one of the quotes I love is:

“All wars are sacred,” he said. “To those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn’t make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it.”

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