) The transformation of the persona is a reflexion of the very transformation of society. Atlanta is the big scene hosting these developments.
As a symbol of the south, Atlanta represents the life philosophy in which the color of the skin is directly connected with the construction of the social persona. All the lack people were slaves and treated as if they worth less than the white ones. In this regard Scarlet is a relevant example. Several times she thinks to herself that black people are unworthy: "How stupid negroes were! They never thought of anything unless they were told. " (Mitchell, 89) or "How dared they laugh, the black apes!...She'd like to have them all whipped until the blood ran down...What devils the Yankees were to set them free!" (Mitchell, 120)
There was a clear division of society in the old south, with the blacks being denied of their human rights while the whites generally enjoyed richness and comfort. The situation was extremely unjust and went against the principles according to which all the human being are equal and benefit from the same rights and liberties. In the destruction of the south and its representative Atlanta we see an attempt of destroying the mentality according to which the value of a person is given by the color of his skin.
The social pressures were so big that change was inevitable. Therefore the only possible denouement was the destruction of the men and territories which embodied the past values. From this point-of-view Atlanta becomes the symbol...
However, since the action of the book does not stop at the city's destruction and abandonment to the will of the Union army, the city can be symbolically viewed as a setting for transformation, for development. The deaths and the destruction involved underline the difficulty and pain implied by profound change.
All in all it is safe to say that the setting in "Gone with the wind" has a very powerful symbolic dimension. Associated with the events described by the writer, Atlanta is a symbol of the past, but also of the transformation that America underwent at the times of the Civil war.
Dickey, J.W. "A tough little patch of history: Atlanta's marketplace for "Gone with the wind" memory." Georgia State University, Department of History, History Dissertations, 2007
Hilton, M. " Literature: Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the wind." World Association of International Studies. Stanford University. Retrieved October 1st, 2010 from http://cgi.stanford.edu/group/wais/cgi-bin/?p=931
Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the wind. Kindle editions, 2007
Phillips, M.A., Huntley, C. "Complex characters in Gone with the wind." Dramatica: a new theory of story. Retrieved October 1st, 2010 from http://storymind.com/dramatica/dramatica_theory_book/chapter_08.html
Stokes, Karin. Colour, gender and Gone with the wind, Retrieved from http://www.tasa.org.au/conferences/conferencepapers07/papers/270.pdf October 2nd, 2010
White, A. "Gone with the wind, Sunday Book review." New York Times. 26 Feb 2009, Retrieved October 2nd, 2010 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/books/review/White-t.html?_r=1
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