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Gone With The Wind And Jubilee- Race Issues

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Common Ties within the Races

Slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction are general ideas that are subjects in many novels written in the past. Two influential and controversial novels that these themes are present in are Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Jubilee by Margaret Walker. These books take place in the same time period, but show different views that took place in these times. Gone With the Wind tells about the lives of white southerners and Jubilee talks of the African-American slaves. The novels individually address separate real life issues of land, family and community; which affected the every day lives of their characters.

Gone With the Wind’s main character Scarlett O’Hara is a pretty southern belle whose first impression to the reader is as a spoiled girl who cares for nobody but herself. As the novel continues it’s shown that this isn’t exactly true, she has more passions in life. Gone With the Wind has a main theme of land possession and love for land as the book continues. As foreshadowed in Chapter 2, Gerald tells Scarlett that she doesn’t need love; land will be the only thing that ever means anything. He says, “But there, you’re young. вЂ?Twill come to you, this love of land. There’s no getting away from itвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Mitchell 39). At first Scarlett doesn’t believe this to be true, but with the continuation of the novel it’s found to be the exact thing that Scarlett lives her life for. After she escaped from the war and returned to Tara where she laid on the Earth and rested her check against the ground, it was made known to her that her father’s words were true, and there was nothing better than the land of Tara; of home. After being at Tara for some time, the news arrives that the taxes of Tara have been raised and the O’Hara’s are no longer going to be able to afford the land. When Will came in and asked Scarlett how much money she had, the reader knew something was wrong. Then he exclaimed, “…They’re runnin’ the assessment up on Tara sky high- higher than any in the Country, I’ll be bound.” (510). At that moment Scarlett knew that there was only one thing to be done and since she loved the land more than anything, she knew money had to be raised, so she did it without a question. Once Scarlett spoke with Ashley he mentioned, “In all these months I’ve been home I’ve only heard of one person, Rhett Butler, who actually has money.” (516). Even though she thought of Rhett as an ignorant fool, Tara was so important to her she would marry for money over love if it meant she would save the land. She wanted to keep Tara and would try and do anything for it. From these few examples it is shown how important land was to those in this time, especially land that the characters had grown up on. Since the war took away many homes, belongings, and members of families, having land of their own was an important way to show that not everything was gone. Before the war Scarlett would have not come to the realization of how much land meant, but during Reconstruction her views changed. This symbolized the alteration in many people’s views after the war. Land was the thing that kept Scarlett going, it was her strength.

Jubilee on the other hand focuses on the love of family and their own community as their backbone. From the first chapter when Hetta dies, there is a strong tie between the others gathered around her. They all waited for her to pass, “thirteen people waited for the death.” (Walker 15). Though they all weren’t blood family, they were a slave family, and were all upset when death did come. It’s shown from the start that the slaves needed to rely on each other to remain strong. Though they made up their own community during slavery, when they were outside the plantation, the whole



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