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2013 | 2 | 27-38
Article title

Approaches to the History of the American Civil War in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind and its Film Adaptation by Victor Fleming

Content
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Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
Gone With the Wind, a bestseller written in 1936 by Margaret Mitchell is a novel and unique chronicle narrating the events of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Period, presented from the Southern point of view. The novel and its film adaptation by Victor Fleming are two American masterpieces and both have been objects of numerous research. However, the film seems to have overshadowed the book, as not much research has been done on the latter so far. Although historical information gathered by the author happens to be amazingly abundant and accurate, the novel has been neglected in the field of historical novels. While the novel constitutes (almost a personal) representation of the Civil War era seen by Margaret Mitchell, told from the point of view of a Southerner, the film omits numerous historical details and interprets some of them individually, making it an adaptation of the novel, and not of the history. As a result, the film can be seen as a performance within a performance. Alterations of the historical information presented by the filmmakers could be the result of censorship or lack of recognition of the sensitivity towards understanding the war. In other cases, it could be the result of a deliberate artistic action in order to make the content of the film more melodramatic. The task of adapting the novel of a thousand pages in a film was complex and resulted in a limitation of the content that was to be transferred. Therefore, the film makers chose to limit the historical information. The film centers on the protagonist, Scarlett O’Hara and does not represent the War. In fact, the war only constitutes the background for the plot presented. The film omits and limits some information, which sounds very logical considering the dense form of the novel. The aim of this work is to compare the official historical version of the American Civil War recognized to be “reliable” by historians with its literary and film adaptations and investigate the refl ection of the war in both.
Contributors
  • Univeristy of Wrocław
References
  • “American Historical Association, The Professional Association for all Historians” (2006) Retrieved on November 13, 2009 from <http://www.historians.org/info/index.cfm#What>. Last Updated: December 13, 2011.
  • Basler, Roy cited in Szasz, Ferenc M. (1974, August) “The Many Meanings of History, Part 1,” The History Teacher Vol. 7, No. 4. University of New Mexico: Society for History Education; 552–563. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from <http://www.jstor.org/stable/492061>.
  • Eagleton, T. cited in. Khalidi, Manzoor A. (2008, April) “Postmodernism: A Reaction to the Terrorism of the Modernist Philosophical Thought.” Market Forces. Retrieved on September 23, 2009 from <http://www.researchgate.net/publication/26540385_Postmodernism_A_Reaction_to_the_Terrorism_of_the_Modernist_Philosophical_Thought>.
  • Freeman, Joseph cited in Szasz, Ferenc M. (1974, August) “The Many Meanings of History, Part 1,” The History Teacher Vol. 7, No. 4. University of New Mexico: Society for History Education; 552–563. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from <http://www.jstor.org/stable/492061>.
  • Howard, Sydney (1939) Gone With the Wind—the Script. Retrieved on March 14, 2010 from <http://www.scarlett online.com/Gone_with_the_Wind_script.htm>.
  • Khalidi, Manzoor A. (2008, April) “Postmodernism: A Reaction to the Terrorism of the Modernist Philosophical Thought.” Market Force. Retrieved on September 23, 2009 from <http://www.researchgate.net/publication/26540385_Postmodernism_A_Reaction_to_the_Terrorism_of_the_Modernist_Philosophical_Thought>.
  • Lambert, Gavin (1973, March) “The Making of Gone With the Wind, Part II.” The Atlantic Monthly, 57. Retrieved on February 16, 2010 from <http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/73mar/wind2.htm>.
  • Lindsey, Robert (1979, December 31) “Reunion Recalls Those Gone With the Wind.” The New York Times. Retrieved on March 3, 2010 from <http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/movies/bestpictures/wind-ar7.html>.
  • Szasz, Ferenc M. (1974, August) “The Many Meanings of History, Part 1,” The History Teacher Vol. 7, No. 4. University of New Mexico: Society for History Education; 552–563. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from <http://www.jstor.org/stable/492061>.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-1fd3a1d2-3ab5-49a9-8567-4470fbb93927
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