I’ve read that too about Mitchell, and I definitely think people who know that fact are more inclined to think of Rhett as abusive like you said. I agree with you, I think that is the actual question. But in the story’s situation, I don’t know if anyone can definitively judge that sort of thing, hence the discussion that arises.
Alright guys, since I already bombarded everyone with a wall of asks last night, I’m going to have to ask we ease off on this for now =) You can send me your thoughts if you like but I’ll only be replying privately. Thank you to everyone for keeping it polite!
No problem, anon. I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said. Thanks for sending your thoughts =)
It’s always interesting to see how different people interpret things =)
I agree, rape is wrong. I appreciate that you mention the portrayal of a different time (so many haters of GWTW focus only on the now reprehensible things, while ignoring the good parts). I’m sorry if I’ve made you facepalm, but like you said, the action in question is in the past, and if we justify it, we do so using the criteria of the past, and in the context of the story (at least I do). Lest we forget, it is a fictional event. Sex in books/films - be it consensual or otherwise - almost always stands for something more, unless you’re reading pure smut. I suppose it seems wrong or hypocritical to have different standards for reality and fiction - but some people do. There is something romantic (as in turbulently passionate, and even tragic) in being overpowered by another person, as sick as that sounds, and in the story that is how the rape (or non-rape, on the flip side) is used. It’s a control thing with Scarlett, a device in a made up story. I know that actions in novels mean something more, and in this case it was much more about their wills than their bodies, and that’s why I accept it for the role it plays in the story. Taking it quite literally, yes, it was indeed wrong for him to force himself on her. But the story would never have advanced the same way if he hadn’t. Thanks for your opinion; this is a thought-provoking topic for sure!
Good point! Rhett certainly was drunk, at least. And I’m inclined agree with your opinion =)
Definitely a battle of wills, I agree. The book, in that scene, talks about how finally he was someone she could not bully and break - he was bullying and breaking her.
I’m looking at it in the book and Scarlett feels like she’s being crushed and stifled and she cries out, but nowhere does she verbalize anything resembling no (at least Mitchell doesn’t tell us). Yes, it was still pretty clear to Rhett that she wasn’t for it at the start and he just kept on going, so yeah, he was prepared to commit rape (of course in those days that was nothing more than marital right). I’m not saying you’re wrong even if she didn’t say no, however. Things like this are still often a grey area - my opinion stems more from the context of the story rather than a real life distinction. In reality his behavior would indeed be frightening.
Exactly - the book is clearer. I think I still like the book better, just by a bit. The movie is my favorite movie, but the book still wins by a nose!
I don’t really like to ponder what happened after the ending of GWTW, but I suppose, if I’m being honest, I hope they do reconcile. But I’m really not sure.
As for the stairs scene … personally, I don’t believe it was rape, because particularly in the book Scarlett realizes she wants him too (and like you said, the movie implies she enjoyed it). Yes, he forced himself on her beginning at the bottom of the stairs, but that scene, in terms of their story, is about so much more than the sex. It’s the whole process of her yielding to someone else - Rhett tried so many different ways to win her over, until he grew desperate and angry. Scarlett is so stubborn and controlling and ignorant of her own feelings that the only thing Rhett can do is to take her like that. That’s kind of a turning point between them in Scarlett’s mind, until he returns from abroad and is rude to her, interestingly enough, on the stairs - she doesn’t recognize her true feelings for him again until the very end. You could look at it from the modern perspective and strictly say, she said no, so it is rape - and it would be (but did she really ever say that? It’s not clear). But in the context of this story, I don’t believe it is.
The song is “Ben Bolt.” It was originally written as a poem in the 1840s and was turned into a song not long after.