Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gender Bender

In a funny coincidence after yesterday's post I came by this and my attention was most especially caught by the following:

Was [Margaret] Mitchell so locked in to developing her heroine that she left her male characters all half-formed or even caricatures? Was she unable to gross [sic] the gender chasm and create a compelling male character? With only one other completed novel during her lifetime, which she wrote as an adolescent, we’ll never get the answer to this. Reasons aside, that flaw keeps the book from greatness.

My first thought was 'how does it feel?' but I haven't read enough of Law's book reviews as they relate to characterization to be able to say that fairly. It's quite possible he's sensitive to any and all under usage of main characters; especially when those main characters are so important to the story. Regardless, it's nice to see that I'm not the only one that gets irked when a character becomes a caricature.

I haven't read Gone With the Wind in years but it was the first book over 1000 pages that I read and I remember becoming so engrossed that I read it in less than a week. I was 15 or 16 at the time. I also really enjoy the movie. I read the book a second time and enjoyed it then as well. Always a good sign if a book holds up to re-reads. Law is right in that there's some serious *ism issues that may or may not make a reader uncomfortable.

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