Gone with the Wind Review ⭐

Literary artistry is not what makes ‘Gone with the Wind’ a timeless favorite for many readers. It is its fascinating characters and plot that has made it endure in relevance even many decades after its publication. Here is a review that points out some of the pros and cons of the novel

Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind is a book about how war, starvation, and adversity can reduce one’s humanity to the basest instinct for survival at all costs.  It follows Scarlett O’Hara’s transition from a charming country girl whose only cares in the world were pretty dresses and handsome beaux, to a cold, hardened woman who would cheat, steal, murder, and numb her conscience to every value she once thought sacred in a bid to survive and escape starvation.

It is a very long read that requires patience from readers to understand the detailed picture it tries to paint. The story has sixty-three(63) chapters and is divided into five(5) parts,  all of which follow a chronological order.  While it has a relatively simplistic writing style and does not contain the most enjoyable of dialogues, it makes up for these shortcomings by being a compelling story of human struggles in difficult circumstances.

Gumption and Survival in Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell shows how different life and values are in times of peace from times of war. How accomplishments that seem very important to society in times of peace and stability become useless for survival in the harsh face of war.

Mitchell once remarked that ‘Gone with the Wind’ is a novel about those who have gumption and those who don’t. At any upheaval to society such as war, the normal order of things is destroyed and people begin afresh from an equal playing ground, then some people rise to the top while some others do not. 

Mitchell might have oversimplified this quality of survivors she called gumption in her remark. This is because ‘Gone with the Wind’ has complexities to this gumption which makes one survivor different from another. There is the gumption of characters like Scarlett O’Hara who would brazenly spit the world in the face and sell her soul to survive.

Then there are the more demure characters like Melanie Hamilton who adapts to the difficult changing times but still holds on to values like love, loyalty, and commonality without compromise even in the face of the toughest challenge and that is an even more powerful brand of courage.


Gone with the Wind is a book that gives readers a variety of characters to hate as passionately as you love them. Some of the characters are too cruel, while some others are unbelievably good. But it is a point in Margaret Mitchell’s favor that she created unforgettable characters in the story.

On the other hand, the characters are very out of touch with reality and it is hard to find any of them relatable. For instance, Scarlett is not relatable in her insensitivity and selfishness and Melanie’s goodness is too good to be true.

Structure of the Novel

The length of Gone with the Wind is one feature that detracts from the appeal of the novel. The novel has sixty-three(63) chapters divided into five(5) parts. It has almost one thousand pages which could have been edited and reduced to about half that number of pages because it expends pages and pages on descriptions and details that are not relevant to the plot.

The events in the novel follow a linear chronological sequence from the eve of the declaration of war through many years after the end of the war.


One good point for the dialogues in Gone with the Wind is that they contain some of the most interesting quotes in the novel. However, some of the dialogues are too colloquial, heavily accented, and hard to decipher especially from the black characters and this adds to the racial controversies around the novel.


What does the title ‘Gone with the Wind‘ mean?

“Gone with the Wind” is a nostalgic expression of loss to the forces of change. The title Gone with the Wind was gotten from a poem ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cyynarae’ by Ernest Dowson, the beginning line of Stanza Three of the poem reads:
 “I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone with the wind…”

Margaret Mitchell had other options for the title of the novel, like “Tomorrow is Another Day” but she and her publication team eventually opted for “Gone with the Wind”.

Is Gone with the Wind based on a true story?

No, Gone with the Wind is not based on a true story. It is a fictional story. However, some of the characters and events in the novel were similar to those in Margaret Mitchell’s real life and it is possible that she projected some of her real-life experiences into her writing.

Why was Gone with the Wind banned?

Both the book and the movie adaptation of Gone with the Wind have been banned several times in various places for controversies. It was banned in Nazi Germany during World War II for having views that were averse to war. It is also banned in some schools and cinemas for being racially prejudicial. In 2021, HBO pulled the film from its movie streaming site for racial stereotypes and it is still a major cause of controversies to date.

Gone with the Wind Review
  • Story
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Writing Style
  • Dialogue
  • Conclusion
  • Lasting Effect on Reader

Gone with the Wind: Margaret Mitchell's Controversial Legacy

Margaret Mitchell in Gone with the Wind uses Scarlett O’Hara’s journey to tell a story of the depravities of human nature and the upheavals to social order that are made glaring by the harshness of war.


  • Captivating Storyline
  • Interesting Themes
  • Remarkable Characters


  • Lengthy volume
  • Racial Controversies
  • Violence
  • Unlikeable Characters
Onyeka Osuji
About Onyeka Osuji
Onyeka is a lecturer of Public Administration and a Literature enthusiast. After gaining accreditation in English Literature, Onyeka analyzes novels on Book Analysis, whilst working as an academic and writing short stories.
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