Why this blog?

The nascent and fresh minds of students are so creatively inclined that they have the ability to bring into being a universe of their own. They are little tyros who would, with time, unfold into verves, momentum or sensations of various creative dimensions. A chalk sculptor, a clay artist, an amateur painter of Madhubani, Warli, a dabbler of still life, a budding poet, a tenderfoot writer or a fledgling lyricist – one gets all varieties of creatively-aligned students covered in a seemingly dilettantish peel. We at Shishukunj aspire to provide a humble platform to all such potentials to smatter around and mature into the perfection that they are seeking to epitomize or become! This blog is thus an endeavor that would allow all Shishyans to just play around with their latent artistic caliber and enjoy the bliss of a “BRAVO” from known and unknown quarters.

Monday, July 24, 2017

An Interview with Margaret Mitchell

Vasudha Gupta, Class X D

Margaret Mitchell

An Imaginary Interview with Margaret Mitchell, author of ‘Gone With The Wind’

Q1. Why did you choose to write on the American Civil War?

Ans. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and my father was the President of the Atlanta Historical Society and so my entire family was interested in American history. I grew up in an atmosphere of stories about the Civil War. After college I even worked on the Atlanta Journey. So basically I’ve just put down all these little stories of the Civil War I’d heard in my entire (past) life, believe me they were a lot, and voila the result was this novel!

Q2. Why did you choose to write from the point of view of the losers?
Ans. Well, like I said, I was from Atlanta where the losing aristocrats had been dominant so I had heard quite a lot of stories from their point of view. Moreover history, to the world, always talks about what the winners gained but never what the losers endured. I’ve tried to portray what a sixteen year old aristocrat girl who had always got what she wanted faced at the time of war and how she dealt simultaneously with her transformation into a woman with her emotions running wild.

Q3. What point did you want to make while deciding Scarlett’s character?
Ans. Well the entire point was to show how Scarlett didn’t let go of life and hope like the other ladies even when her life took turns like no others. How her ambition was to make her life beautiful again which took strong will and guts but sometimes how being overambitious can make one too brash and ruthless and just crush you one day.

Q4. Why did you keep mammy faithful to Scarlett in spite of the war and end of slavery?
Ans. Some families like the O’Hara’s treated the blacks nicely and cared for them. These old servants had a genuine sense of loyalty that was really appreciable. I wanted to showcase this irony and wanted to applaud them too for their services.

Q5. There are detailed accounts of war and life in wartime. How near to truth are they?
Ans. Well all of it, the areas, dates, lifestyle, armies, all except names are accurate and true. It’s not only based on the stories but, also, I’ve studied about it a lot during my time as a journalist on the Atlanta Journal and even my dad remained precise about the history and facts.

Q6. You have created a character named Melanie. Why did you make her so weak?
Ans. The main character Scarlett was fierce and sharp but actually, in the society, there were ladies like Melanie also, who only believed in good, and I wanted to show contrast to the lead. Moreover the motto was to sketch how upbringing in ultra-secure environment, far from reality and practicality, can actually make them completely incompetent and fragile in the outside world and how the culture then among aristocracy had been so faulty and futile.

Q7. What enticed you to create Rhett Butler?
Ans. After all a story has to have a twist to make people wait in anticipation. In ‘Gone With The Wind’ I used the extremities of the society with all kinds of people and strong personalities always attract each other. Such a willful woman as Scarlett whose eyes were blazing emeralds and whose face and soul had such fire was bound to get the attention of the other ‘out-of-bounds’ strong willed men like Rhett who believed in realizing the truth and acting practically, not being a part of the herd running towards the end of the cliff. But most importantly I wanted to convey that with enough courage, one could do without a reputation.
American film star Clark Gable (1901-1960)
reading the novel 'Gone With the Wind' by Margaret Mitchell.
His greatest role was that of Rhett Butler
in the MGM film adaption of the book.

Q8. You made Scarlett so strong and hardworking but then, why did you give her life such a tragic ending after she finally understood Rhett and her life?
Ans. Scarlett was strong, hardworking but also conceited. In order to build her life back she used people, lied and played with others’ emotions. In course of time she became greedy, selfish and mean, and greed cannot be celebrated or rewarded, right? It was too late by the time she realized. She had lost Rhett only because of her exploiting his emotions.

Q9. Why did you keep the title of your book ‘Gone With The Wind’?
Ans. It satisfies both my purposes and it has a double meaning or probably triple meaning. You see while ‘Gone With The Wind’ magnifies ‘Gone’ and shows how with time the South culture and society vanished, and Tara vanished, and aristocracy faded away it also reflects how Rhett went away from her when she wanted him the most. Also, it depicts how with changing times and changing winds Scarlett had to keep up with the flow and adapt to means to survive, change herself and let go of her life in the good aristocratic times.

Q10. And finally Margaret, what made you write this amazing book? Was it some inspiration or you simply love writing?
Ans. Oh! Actually it was neither of them. I started writing this book out of boredom when I was forced to stay in bed while I recovered from a leg injury, and to this day I wish I hadn’t. When I started, then just for the sake of finishing, I had to finish this rotten book. I had no intention of publishing it but I was forced to. I really hate the act of writing actually.

NOTE: All the answers are based on facts and the actual viewpoint and opinions of Margaret Mitchell (even the last one).


Riddhi Singhania said...

Not only the answers, but the questions are also really good!

Vasudha Gupta said...

Thank you Riddhi.