Expectership In Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind

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1. Introduction
According to Louis Rubin, Jr., Gone with the Wind is “the best-selling popular historical novel ever published in America” (81). The book “received the annual award of the American Booksellers Association (now the American Book Award) and the Pulitzer Prize” (Jones “Tomorrow” 315). Despite these awards and a wide appreciation among its reading audience, the novel has not won considerable popularity among literary critics (Adams 61; Burt 577). It has also been labelled “a traditional Southern romance” (Kovács 1) and a “popular romance” (Burt 577). Nevertheless, there are scholars who think otherwise. As a proof of that, a comprehensive collection of works on the novel can be named: edited by Darden A. Pyron, it was published
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However, they were not universal, but differed according to the class and gender to which the person belonged. Ladies from the upper class of the society were guided by their special code of honor that is known in history as the ideal of Southern ladyhood. This ideal prescribed not female behavior, but also their personal characteristics and patterns of social interaction. In GWTW, Margaret Mitchell provides the readership with a thoroughly portrayed ideal of a Southern lady. Although it can be expected from a fiction writer that the representation can be highly subjective, it seems to be not the case with Mitchell: her portrayal of the subject under discussion departs only insignificantly from the one presented by such contemporary historians as Gail Collins, George C. Rable and Bertram Wyatt-Brown. To show this conformity/congruity of opinion, examples from both the literary text and the scholarly texts are provided in this and the following sections of the paper. At this point, it must also be mentioned that due to the small size of this paper and the frequency of comments on the following topics in the novel, it seems expedient to examine more closely three issues regulated by the code of honor of Southern ladies: dependent status, marriage and
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