Hollywood

In Defense of Scarlett O'Hara

Decades after critics whacked Gone with the Wind for its racism and sexism, a new reading has emerged. Molly Haskell’s Frankly My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited is a feminist defense of the book, which establishes Scarlett O’Hara as a heroine and a survivor. Haskell analyzes her romance with Rhett Butler as a “a historical romance that transcended the genre with the immediacy of its mix of sex and feminism.” And in a response to Gloria Steinem's criticism that Scarlett represented female objectification, Haskell says she represents Americanism and femininity, and that her “image redounds upon our eternal political struggles and deepest fantasies.”