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Mitchells Gone With the Wind is a very important movie. It shows blacks in a light that went along with stereotypes at the time.

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Introduction

Chloe McNease AAS 385 Professor McCall 7 April 2012 Gone With the Wind Gone with the Wind is a very important movie in American history. It tells the story of the Civil War and its aftermath, while at the same time providing the viewer with a very complicated love story. Intertwined in this story is the story of many black characters. They are stereotypical characters but at the same time they defy some of the beliefs about them. Mitchell presents us with many black stock characters such as the mammy, brute, and contented slave. They way they are portrayed however is in a very negative light. There are a few stock characters presented in this film, the main one being Mammy. She is portrayed as heavyset, masculine, sassy, and served as a surrogate mother to the O'Hara children. She had no full identity; she had no real name and no last name. She is the loyal housekeeper who remained with the O'Hara's even after she had been emancipated. Therefore, she also represents the contented slave who preferred to remain with their master. She is faithful and protective of the family. She is seen giving advice to Scarlett regarding Ashley, helping her with her garments, and making sassy remarks. Big Sam represented the physical black brute. He is big, strong, and a threat to white womanhood. His name show s what stock character he represents. Mitchell couldn't just name him Sam, she had to put the word big at the beginning to stress his size and how much of a threat he is. ...read more.

Middle

Blacks are still viewed as incapable of surviving without the white population and in dire need of their guidance. This is why in many movies today there is a black character that couldn't succeed without a white character (Safe House featuring Denzel Washington) On the other hand it challenges culture, specifically in the black community. The characters used in Gone with the Wind in no way reflect blacks today. In many black movies blacks defy stereotypes (Good Deeds, Seven Pounds). Blacks no longer act in the manners in the film. We don't feel that we need white people to survive and we don't do everything we possibly can to make them happy. We are not as afraid of them as we were portrayed to be in earlier films. This film contributes to the stereotypes about blacks. When a person watches this movie, whether it be back when the movie came out or today in 2012, they are probably going to leave with some type of stereotype. (Black men are threats, black women are angry, black people are meant to serve, and crimes against blacks don't matter) There is no strong sense of identity among these characters, except maybe to Mammy. She is the only one who shows some sort of personality in the film. She has her own opinions about things and isn't afraid to voice them. However, Mammy isn't given a real name which can be seen as one way of stripping her identity from her. ...read more.

Conclusion

This film could be compared to Birth of a Nation. Birth of a Nation tried to show what would happen if blacks were given freedom and power. It showed slaves being angry about slavery and wanting to be free. However, Gone with the Wind showed blacks being content with slavery. As mentioned in "Gone with the Wind and Hollywood's Racial Politics" blacks where depicted as being uninterested in freedom and were treated more as pets than people. They loved and needed the whites. This could possibly be seen as an answer to Birth of a Nation. Mitchell wanted to show that if blacks acted as they did in her movie, then everything would run smoothly, unlike things in Birth of a Nation when blacks became unruly when they got their first taste of freedom. The white damsel in distress in present in this film. Scarlett represents this damsel in the movie. She fits the description of a petite, white middle class woman. She is the damsel when she is attacked and Big Sam comes to her rescue and also when Prissy goes to Rhett asking for his help. Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is a very important movie. It shows blacks in a light that went along with stereotypes at the time. She did a very good job of going along with the beliefs of the time but a bad job when implying that blacks were content being servants. Although this movie could be seen as a bad portrayal blacks it is still a good film to analyze and critique. ?? ?? ?? ?? McNease 6 ...read more.

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