I’ve had a revelation. Margaret Mitchell the author of ‘Gone With the Wind’, was a prophet. The book wasn’t really about the Civil War in America, it was actually a prophecy of the Covid Virus and how we would all react.
‘Gone with the Wind’ is my all time favourite book and movie. If you haven’t seen the 1939 classic, this is a perfect time to watch it as it goes on for three hours at least so fills half a day and it is full of Covid prophecies. For anyone who has read it or seen it, let me show you why:
In her opening lines, Scarlett O Hara says what we all felt at the start of this crisis (just replace the word ‘war’ with ‘Covid’):
“Fiddle-dee-dee, War war war, it’s all people are talking about these days, it’s spoiling all the fun, I get so bored I could scream.”
Just to note, all through the movie Scarlett’s favourite term of profanity whenever she hears the news, is “Fiddlesticks or Fiddle dee dee” which is her way of saying “For F**k sake.”
She’s sent to work in an overcrowded makeshift hospital that is running out of medical supplies.
When she’s racing back home to Tara on the horse and buggy, it’s relatable to driving home from the supermarket, she also practices social distancing very well in this scene by hiding under a bridge.
And I have to admit, I have looked at my curtains several times and thought that I may make a summer dress out of them, or at least a supply of face masks.
In the movie at the end of Part 1, while doing a bit of gardening in the cotton fields, with no tools or seeds (as all the garden centres are all closed), Scarlett proclaims:
“As God is my witness, they’re are not going to lick me.”
Here, Margaret Mitchell has the character of Scarlett warn us, that letting anyone lick you at the moment is not a good idea.
“I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk.”
So relevant… we are all putting our family folk first at the moment, and it does seem that with the amount of food people have stock piled, no one will ever go hungry again.
“There’s so many nice places to go and visit, Mexico, London, Paris”, says Rhett to a melancholy Scarlett. She’s thinking the same as us all; ‘Indeed there are Rhett, but we can’t go at the moment can we?’
Another classic line from Scarlett in the movie; “I won’t think about that now, I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
Let’s all be honest, we all have had at least one of these ‘Scarlett O Hara Days’. Here, the author predicts how we’ll all procrastination and get nothing done while under Lockdown.
When Scarlett O Hara cries:
“Where shall I go? What will I do?”, Rhett Butler responds, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”, delivering the most famous line from ‘Gone With the Wind’, as he walks away to social distance. In this scene you need to think of her as a celebrity/influence. It’s the prediction of how people will loose interest in the celebrities and influencers who no longer can go to amazing places to take selfies. You can only take so many pictures of coffee at home before you loose your followers.
“You need kissing badly, that’s what’s wrong with you, you need kissing badly and often by someone who knows how. But I’m not going to do it.”
Rhett advising that restraint and keeping your saliva to yourself at the moment is very important. Online dating is out.
“I love you, Scarlett, because we are so much alike, renegades, both of us, dear, and selfish rascals. Neither of us cares a rap if the whole world goes to pot, so long as we are safe and comfortable.”
This is probably the secret inner thoughts of most loved-up couples after two weeks of self-isolation, when they have gone past the point of showing no virus symptoms, and they settle into the everyday life of quarantine knowing that they are safe and comfortable.
Rhett (replace the word ‘war’ with ‘virus’): “It’s a curse… Until the war, life was never more real to me than a shadow show on a curtain. And I preferred it so. I did not like the outlines of things to be too sharp. I like them gently blurred, a little hazy… In other words, Scarlett, I am a coward.”
We all feel bad for Rhett when we hear this and we all want to say to him that feeling scared of the situation is not the same as being a coward, chin up, we are all wishing for the hazy days of a normal summer at this point.
If you read the book you get even more insight into Margaret Mitchell’s prophecies:
‘She was less frightened also because life had taken on the quality of a dream, a dream too terrible to be real. It wasn’t possible that she, Scarlett O’Hara, should be in such a predicament, with the danger of death about her every hour, every minute. It wasn’t possible that the quiet tenor of life could have changed so completely in so short a time.’
Yep hands up, who has stood at the sink or at a window and suddenly thought, ‘Is this really happening or just a bad dream?’
‘She saw in his eyes defeat of her wild dreams, her mad desires.’
This is in referral to our summer holidays being cancelled.
And then she predicts the feeling of resigning ourselves to the situation once we have got over the panic and fear stages:
‘The merciful adjustment which nature makes when what cannot be cured must be endured.’
And last but not least, she ends the book by giving us all hope that our ‘To Do’ list will be done at some point, and this situation will not last forever:
‘After all, tomorrow is another day.’
I rest my case.