Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rosie's Riveters: Courtney & Scarlet O'Hara

Rosie's Riveters is a weekly posting written by Booklust readers about riveting females in literature. Many readers have strong reactions to the women in the books they read- either very positive or very negative. These are the characters we find riveting, for good reasons or bad ones, and they form the population of Rosie's Riveters. Through this weekly post, we can discuss females we love to hate, or love to love. And maybe, just maybe- we can determine why we react so strongly to them.

If you are interested in participating, please comment on this post or e-mail me and I'll add you to the line-up!

This week's post is by Courtney, over at Once Upon a Bookshelf. I did not know Courtney until she contacted me to guest post, but she won me over with her "Midweek Morsels" weekly post over at her blog. Food and books go great together (and with wine, I might add), and anyone who understands this concept understands me pretty well, too. So- go on over to Courtney's blog and enjoy her recipes and reviews.

Who is your Riveter?
Scarlett O'Hara

What book does she feature in?

Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (Originally published in 1936)

Do you love her or hate her?

ly hate.

Describe her personality- how would you describe her to a friend?

"She knows what she wants, and doesn't let anyone or anything stand in the way of getting what she wants - even if it means hurting her family and friends in order to get it."

Can you compare her to a celebrity?

I can't think of one specific celebrity, but she reminds me of your
stereotypical reality game show contestant.

What makes her riveting?

She fights for what she wants, and that kind of strength and determination aren't always found in female characters. She can be resourceful and has a strong head for business in a time when that wasn't the norm for women. She also rarely gives up on what she believes she really wants.

But she uses back-handed means to get her way, and it can be so infuriating to see someone be so selfish that they would sacrifice the happiness of a member of their own family so that she herself can be taken care of. It can also be infuriating that she doesn't see what the people around her are really like - she has these almost romanticized ideas about certain people (such as Ashley) that don't coincide with reality.

What do you most admire/despise about her?

She is extremely selfish and has no real scruples. She purposely made her
sister's fiancee think that her sister was no longer in love with her, so that she could marry him instead, just so she would not be poor any longer. She never thinks about how her actions affect other people - and in one occasion it kills her husband and injures Ashley.

Then there is the whole Ashley/Melanie thing. She believes that she is in
love with Ashley so much that she doesn't see what she already has until it's too late. And she begrudges Melanie, even though Melanie is the sweetest girl, who thinks the world of Scarlett, would do anything for her, and stands by her when the rest of the world wants to shun Scarlett.

Would you recommend reading the book in which the Riveter features?

Yes. Gone with the Wind is a classic for a reason - it gives us a picture
of what life was like in a very important part of American history. There are some wonderfully strong characters in it and it is a fabulous story that gives us a picture of what things were like in a period we never would've lived through ourselves.

Any parting remarks?
While I loath Scarlett, I also have some respect for the tenacity she shows
for getting what she really wants - just not the way she goes about getting it.


  1. I don't hate her. I find her interesting. Perhaps more so in the book than in the film.

    I would love to participate in this blog series.

  2. I have only seen the movie, not read the book, on this one. I also only saw it once, several years ago. But Scarlett definitely got on my nerves. Similar to the way I react to other females, I didn't think she deserved such a dashing man as Rhett Butler.

    However, I must admit to not being a huge fan of Melanie, either. I thought she was WAY too nice, and a bit of a pushover. Though she did get her man :-)

  3. She does go after everything, and wants what she want. A truly selfish girl, but there is just something about her

  4. When I first read GWTW as a teen, I admired Scarlett and thought Melanie was drip. Rereading it decades later? Scarlett was a spoiled monster and Melanie was such a good friend and made up of such strength of character she made me weep.

  5. Scarlett is such a good choice for Rosie's Riveters. I find it interesting that she inspires such a passionate response! She is completely selfish, manipulative and there are moments when you have to wonder how much human feeling she really has but I guess that she did what she had to do.

    It certainly wouldn't be anywhere near as interesting a read if Scarlett just let life happen to her!

  6. I love Gone With the Wind! I have a love hate relationship with Scarlett.

  7. I have always wanted to read Gone with the Wind, and even have a copy on my shelves, but have not gotten to it yet. I haven't even seen the movie! The fact that Scarlett ended up as a riveter in the post makes my desire to read this book even stronger, so I will have to make some time for it sometime very soon. Thanks for the great post!

  8. This is my favorite book. WAY WAY better than the movie!



I read every comment posted on this blog, even if it sometimes takes me a while to respond. Thank you for taking the time and effort to comment here! Unless you are spamming me, in which case, thanks for nothing.