Date of Award

Summer 8-3-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Pearl McHaney

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Chase

Third Advisor

Dr. LeeAnne Richardson

Abstract

Anyone who is familiar with Margaret Mitchell’s life and her novel, Gone with the Wind, should notice that Mitchell’s work in some fashion parallels events from her life. Exactly how and why these parallels function, however, has been the subject for much scholarly debate. In my thesis, I examine Mitchell’s biography to get closer to the truth of the events in her life up to the publication of her novel. I then synthesize this information with a side-by-side analysis of some important figures in Mitchell’s life and characters from her novel; from there, I provide a feminist critique of selected characters, relationships between those characters, and scenes from the novel. In particular, I focus upon Mitchell’s relationship with her mother, Maybelle, and how this relationship compares with Scarlett O’Hara’s relationship with her mother, Ellen.

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