Gone with the Wind
Films,  Movie Critique

How does the Epoch Affect Films’ and Books’ Plots?

“Gone with the Wind” is a historical romance film that was acted in the year 1939 and the story was based on the novel with the same title. Hundreds of historical romance book reviews and film analytical articles tell, this novel (and film) has a fascinating plot and love between the main characters.

“Gone with the Wind” was set at the southern side of the United States of America during the American civil war. It tells the story of Scarlet who was described as the strong-willed daughter of a plantation owner in Georgia in her pursuit of love for Ashley Wilkes.

During the American civil war of 1861, Scarlet who was living with her family in their plantation in Georgia learnt that Ashley who she secretly loves is getting married to her cousin. Scarlet declared her feeling for Ashley during a party and Ashley rejects her saying that they are compatible with her cousin. The event was interrupted with the announcement of war declaration. While Ashley and her cousin Melanie kisses goodbye, young brother to Melanie proposes to Scarlett to which she consents even though she did not love him.

Scarlett is widowed when her husband dies from pneumonia while serving in Confederate Army. The wave of war turns against the Confederate army and most men who lived in Scarlett’s own are killed. Ashley and Scarlett share a passionate kiss before he returns to war.

With the ongoing war, Scarlett father is killed. Their town is besieged, and Ashley returns from war. She begs him to run away with her and Ashley also confesses that he loves her though she cannot abandon his wife for her. Even though rumors got around that Ashley and Scarlett are dating but Melanie dismisses it as rumors, and they are family, and no problem would arise among them. Scarlett gives up on chasing Ashley and marries Rhett who she bears a child with. Ashley got captured by the arrival army, and Scarlett promises him that she will take care of Melanie who was pregnant by then.

When the war ends, and Ashley is released and reunites with the family. The movie shows a lady that has fallen in love with her cousin husband and the love does not materialize due to the ongoing war and family wars.

On the second one, Autumn in New York. It was acted in the year 2000 and tells a story of a middle-aged womanizer, Will Keane, who fell in love with a young terminally ill woman.

Keane is a successful business man with a restaurant with a reputation for being a womanizer. He is introduced to a young woman, Charlotte, and after their first date, he realizes that they cannot be in a long term relationship. However after Charlotte reveals that she is terminally ill, Keane views the relationship differently, and the relationship ends up the way they did not expect. Later Keane met her old girlfriend and ended up having sex. Charlotte learns about this and ends up breaking up with him. This goes on for sometimes till one day Charlotte finds Keane in her house sleeping on a chair claiming he wants to apologize and be given another chance. Her health conditions worsen and Keane searches for a specialist to take care of her and help her get out of tumor. Charlotte later died from her tumor condition, and Keane realizes that she had prepared him a Christmas gift but could not deliver it due to her sickness.

The story shows how the womanizer, Keane was changed by one woman even though she could not live longer to see her love for him grows. When the two first met, they were no intention of falling in love. Keane wanted to have fun with Charlotte. However, they ended up having a strong feeling for each other perhaps due to Charlotte’s condition or perhaps due to real love. The story also shows that however, much one might be a womanizer; there would be one particular person that one day they would not depart from. This is evident from the way Keane reacted on the news of the death of Charlotte. They were also hurt from their breakup and this is evident that they fell deeply in love with each other.

Political environment that impacts the style and content of these stories

The film, “Gone with the Wild” was acted at a time the United States of America was struggling to get regarding the experience of a civil war of 1861.The movie showed how most of the activities of the actors were influenced by the war. Scarlett’s husband died of pneumonia while at war camp. This influenced her behavior as far as the relationship is concerned. She would go from man to another looking for a stable relationship. According to the movie, civil war influenced the content of the movie. The love relationships in this movie were affected by the war as most of the time men were involved in war and their residential places were under frequent attack, and therefore they could not enjoy their relationship peacefully. Ashley was at war most of the time, and at the time he was arrested, and his wife was pregnant. He could not be with the family. These are possible scenes from the real civil war that was tearing the country apart.

And also, this is a time the world was experiencing a second war that started about 1937. This could also have influenced the style of this movie and its content. People could not live peacefully and even they there was the love relationship, it was affected by the constant attack. Scarlett stated that there were times that most men from her town were killed when the town was attacked. It means most of the women were left, widows.

On the other hand, Autumn in New York was acted when the country was calm. There was much more stability regarding the political environment. The businesses were doing well, and the economy of the country was progressing well. However, there was health care problem. Most of those who were seriously sought could not get help. In the movie Charlotte is shown to have collapsed due to her terminal illness and the doctors were not in a position to help him. The movie showed how Keane was a successful businessman; this depicts the situation of the country was experiencing, economic stability and prosperity. However the health sector of the country was not doings so well, there was little that could have been done to save most serious illness such as terminal illness.

Social environment in the two eras that influenced the movies

“Gone with the Wind” was acted at a time that social cohesiveness was not so strong. The world was experiencing war and most of the time most people were worried. Most people were forced to move out of their homes due to constant attacks. This made families not to sty closely together. Ashley was on the constant move as he was involved in war even at a time his wives was pregnant. When the city was attacked, they were forced to move out of the city and seek refuge someone else, and it was like everyone for himself. However, the moral capability of the society was much stronger by then. Ashley could not cheat his wife with Scarlett even it was much attempting to do that. His moral ability was strong, and he was also concerned with what the society would say, or he would be viewed as the immoral man who does not deserve to have a decent family.

On the other hand, Autumn in New York was acted when there were much peace and security and thus Keane and Charlotte could be together. There was also deterioration in the level of moral norms in the society. Keane was a well-known womanizer who would change women every single day. Due to the moral decline in the society, he was not condemned by anyone, but it is like people liked him for that. In the real world I the years 2000s, even music videos would show people dancing half naked and they were made famous out of that. Keane had a date with Charlotte for the first time and could comment that they would not last longer in a relationship because that was his behavior. He wanted to change to another woman. Even when their relationship was growing strong, he ended up cheating on Charlotte. The society at this time was less concerned with such behavior in a relationship because it was the order of the day. This was a different case with the 1939s when the Movie “Gone with Wind” was acted. If Keane was in Ashley’s shoes, he could have cheated on his wife when a woman like Scarlett presented herself to him they way she did to Ashley. The cultural practices as well as social values and norms have changed with time, and that is what makes the tow movies to be different regarding social behavior shown by the behaviors of the actors.

There were more strict rules in the content to be displayed by the films in 1939 as compared to 2000. Local and state government had authority to ban or even edit the content of the films. This might be the reason why the content of “Gone with the Wild” did not have more bloodies graphics even though it had some theme of war in it. On the other hand, the year 2000 found when there had been court cases concerning the ban or editing or the strict content of the films. The law has lessened towards controlling the content of the films and thus the images displayed in the Autumn in New York was a little more of mature content as compared to the movie “Gone with the Wild.”

The business environment in 1939 was different with that of the 2000s. There were more wars in the world in 1939s. Civil war just ended and World War two was on. This affected businesses in that era. In the 2000s the business environment was conducive. The economy was doing well as well as political stability. In the film “Gone with the Wind” Scarlett is looking for money to pay someone who subjected their town under tax and she had to pay, or the town was to be sold. This was influenced by harsh economic conditions that were being experienced by that time. In the year 2000, the country was doing well. Thus this influenced the movie Autumn in New York where it showed that Keane was a successful business man with restaurants.

In summary, the events that took place during these two eras influenced the movie content and style, and that is why there are differenced in the manner the two stories were acted even though they are of the same genre.

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