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1037 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published June 30, 1936
"The house negroes of the County considered themselves superior to white trash...they were well-fed, well-clothed and looked after in sickness and old age. They were proud of the good names of their owners and, for the most part, proud to belong to people who were quality."
I hear the darkies coming home across the fields at dusk, tired and singing and ready for supper, and the sound of the windlass as the bucket goes down into the cool well. And there's the long view down the road to the river, across the cotton fields, and the mist rising from the bottom lands in the twilight. And that is why I'm here who have no love of death or misery or glory and no hatred for anyone. Perhaps that is what is called patriotism.
[They] furthermore told the negroes they were as good as the whites in every way and soon white and negro marriages would be permitted, soon the estates of their former owners would be divided and every negro would be given forty acres and a mule for his own. They kept the negroes stirred up with tales of cruelty perpetrated by the whites and, in a section long famed for the affectionate relations between slaves and slave owners, hate and suspicion began to grow.
[Now Southerners] were looking on the state they loved, seeing it trampled by the enemy, rascals making a mock of the law, their former slaves a menace, their men disenfranchised, their women insulted.
It was the large number of outrages on women and the ever-present fear for the safety of their wives and daughters that drove Southern men to cold and trembling fury and caused the Ku Klux Klan to spring up overnight. And it was against this nocturnal organization that the newspapers of the North cried out most loudly, never realizing the tragic necessity that brought it into being.
The South had been tilted as by a giant malicious hand, and those who had once ruled were now more helpless than their former slaves had ever been.
The former slaves were now the lords of creation and, with the aid of the Yankees, the lowest and most ignorant ones were on top. The better class of them, scorning freedom, were suffering as severely as their white masters...Many loyal field hands also refused to avail themselves of the new freedom, but the hordes of 'trashy free issue niggers,' who were causing most of the trouble, were drawn largely from the field-hand class.
In slave days, these lowly blacks had been despised by the house negroes and yard negroes as creatures of small worth...Plantation mistresses had put the pickaninnies through courses of training and elimination to select the best of them for the positions of greater responsibility. Those consigned to the fields were the ones least willing or able to learn, the least energetic, the least honest and trustworthy, the most vicious and brutish...[but now] the former field hands found themselves suddenly elevated to the seats of the mighty. There they conducted themselves as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects whose value is beyond their comprehension, they ran wild - either from perverse pleasure in destruction or simply because of their ignorance.
To the credit of the negroes, including the least intelligent of them, few were actuated by malice and those few had usually been "mean niggers" even in slave days. But they were, as a class, childlike in mentality, easily led and from long habit accustomed to taking orders.
Here was the astonishing spectacle of half a nation attempting, at the point of bayonet, to force upon the other half the rule of negroes, many of them scarcely one generation out of the African jungles.
Thanks to the negro vote, the Republicans and their allies were firmly entrenched and they were riding roughshod over the powerless but still protesting minority.
It was a savagely red land, blood-colored after rains, brick dust in droughts, the best cotton land in the world. It was a pleasant land of white houses, peaceful plowed fields and sluggish yellow rivers, but a land of contrasts, of brightest sun glare and densest shade. The plantation clearings and miles of cotton smiled up to a warm sun, placid, complacent. At their edges rose the virgin forests, dark and cool even in the hottest noons, mysterious, a little sinister, the soughing pines seeming to wait with an age-old patience, to threaten with soft sighs: “Be careful! Be careful! We had you once. We can take you back again.”
Scarlett moved impatiently. She had thought Grandma was going to understand and perhaps show her some way to solve her problems. But like all old people, she’d gotten to talking about things that happened before anyone was born, things no one was interested in.
من أجل أي شيء نحارب؟ ليس من أجل الشرف والمجد طبعاً. ان الحرب شيء قذر, وأنا أكره القذارة. أنا لست محاربا, ولا أبحث عن الشهرة من فوهة المدفع. ان معظم الشقاء والبؤس في العالم قد نتج عن الحروب. وعندما تنتهي هذه الحروب لا أحد يعلم شيئاً عن سبب اندلاعها
كم أتمنى لو كنت متزوجة . فقد سئمت التصرف دائماً تصرفاً لا يتفق وطبيعتي , ومللت من التقليد الذي يفرض عليّ أن آكل قدر ما يأكل العصفور وأن أسير عندما أريد أن أركض . وأن أقول إنني أشعر بدوار بعد رقصة واحدة من الفالس , بينما أستطيع أن أرقص يومين متواصلين دون أن أتعب , وسئمت مداهنة الرجال والإعراب عن الإعجاب بهم , في حين ليس لهم من الإدراك نصف ما أتمتّع به . وتعبت من التظاهر بأنني لا أعرف شيئاً حتى أتيح للرجال أن يعلموني ويشعروا بالزهو والعظمة . لماذا يجب على الفتاة أن يبلغ بها الحمق درجة السعي لاقتناص زوج ؟
جميع الحروب مقدسة بنظر المحاربين , ولو لم يجعلوها مقدسة لما بلغ الحمق بأحد للذهاب إلى الحرب . ولكن مهما كانت الأسباب التي يتشدق بها الخطباء , فليس هناك سوى سبب واحد , هو المال , غير أن الرجال الذين يدركون ذلك قلائل , فالطبول والكلمات الجوفاء تقرع في آذانهم , والخطباء الذين يتشدقون بهذا الكلمات يبقون في بيوتهم , بينما يذهب الشبّان للقتال باسم الحرية
Oh, why was he so handsomely blond, so courteously aloof, so maddeningly boring with his talk about Europe and books and music and poetry and things that interested her not at all – and yet so desirable? Night after night, when Scarlett went to bed after sitting on the front porch in the semi-darkness with him, she tossed restlessly for hours and comforted herself only with the thought that the very next time he saw her he certainly would propose. But the next time came and went, and the result was nothing – nothing except that the fever possessing her rose higher and hotter.
She loved him and she wanted him and she did not understand him. She was as forthright and simple as the winds that blew over Tara and the yellow river that wound about it, and to the end of her days she would never be able to understand a complexity. And now, for the first time in her life, she was facing a complex nature.