Voicing the Unvoiceable: Tracing Rage in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind

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English (M.A.)




Despite its enduring popularity throughout the world, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind continues to be a text that is largely dismissed by academics. Recent analyses of the attitudes and experiences of elite Confederate women during the Civil War and Reconstruction, however, reveal a startling level of verisimilitude in Mitchell’s portrait of her iconic heroine Scarlett O’Hara. Using many of these historical analyses and Linda Grasse’s recent study of the “artistry of anger” in antebellum texts written by women writers as a framework for my analysis, my thesis attempts to identify and explain the evidence of anger that abounds in Mitchell’s text, building on Grasse's contention that twentieth-century women writers have been forced to voice their anger—an emotion that has historically been forbidden to women— in the same manner as their nineteenthcentury literary foremothers, through “an artistry of angry expression...that [enabled] them to express what their culture [forbade]” (Grasso 16).


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