This article compares the novel, “Gone with the Wind,” with another novel written around the same time, “Absalom, Absalom!” It compares the development of male characters in the novels, Rhett Butler and Quentin Compson. Both novels focus on the aristocracy of the South as well as the Civil War and the ante-bellum south. It looks at the effects of miscegenation on both of the characters development. Both see the influence as negative and it effects how they ultimately view the South and its future.
Railton argues that few essays have focused on bother of the novels and few have focused on race within the novels. He argues that race relations are a very strong theme within both books but it is rarely dealt with in essays about the books. Railton not only compares and contrasts the development of the two male characters. He, also, examines how the two novels fit into the broader spectrum of thought in the 1930’s. He looks at how the two novels interacted with southern historical thought at the time.
This article gives some perspective into the creation of the movie. It delves into the themes of the novel which enter into the film, and gives an analysis of race that is different from many essays. The comparison with “Absalom, Absalom!” also allows for new interpretations of the film as a product of its time.