Race and the Cloud of Unknowing in Gone with the Wind

ACCESS PURCHASE
Students and scholars can access articles for free via Project Muse.

Race and the Cloud of Unknowing in Gone with the Wind

by Patricia Yaeger
Southern Cultures, Vol. 5, No. 1: Spring 1999

"This is a long book with print so tiny that it makes me squint, a book whose racial politics are absolutely abhorrent."

Responding to Drew Faust’s powerful essay on Gone with the Wind has been difficult, not only because of the usual ardors of writing but because I made die mistake of picking up Gone with the Wind again— and then had trouble putting it down. This is a long book with print so tiny print it makes me squint, a book whose racial politics are absolutely abhorrent. And yet, as reader, I find myself completely at odds with my own position as a liberal academic— empathizing with the Klan after they’ve brutalized the inhabitants of shantytown, identifying with Scarlett as she abuses convict labor, admiring Melanie Wilkes, who is afraid to go North because her son might have to go to school with “pickaninnies.”

RELATED CONTENT