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Gone With the Wind
SUBJECTS — U.S./1860 - 1865 & Georgia; Cinema;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Female Role Model (Melanie);
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — General.
Age: 12+; Not Rated; Drama; 1939; 231 minutes; Color.
This epic drama traces the life of the fictional Scarlett O'Hara from before the Civil War to Reconstruction. It is adapted from the book by Margaret Mitchell.
This movie shows pre-Civil War plantation life, the home front in the South during the war, and Reconstruction from the point of view of plantation owners. The book was a best seller and the movie itself was a watershed. The characters (Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, Melanie and Ashley Wilkes) have become fixed in the consciousness of U.S. audiences and are frequently referred to in conversation and in writing. Good readers 13 and older should be encouraged to read the book before they watch the movie.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide will show teachers and parents how to correct for the myopia of this story which focuses on the plantation owner class to the exclusion of all others. (See, for example, the discussion question set out below.) The Learning Guide will also facilitate the use of this film to supplement studies of U.S. history.
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Gone with the Wind is a classic movie of the Civil War.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out a set of discussion questions from the Learning Guide to Gone with the Wind.
Assume that the administrator of a Nazi slave labor farm was tried under the Nuremberg principles. The evidence shows that the farm comprised thousands of acres cultivated by hundreds of Polish, Russian, and Jewish slaves who were frequently whipped and who were separated from their families. Some slaves died from the conditions at the farm. If they tried to escape, they were killed or maimed. Did the administrator commit a crime against humanity? How are these conditions different from those prevailing on plantations in the pre-Civil War South? What should have happened to the Southern plantation owners after the Civil War? If you decide that they should have been punished, why wasn't losing their slaves an adequate penalty for their conduct? Is it fair to compare the owner of a Southern U.S. plantation before the Civil War to the German administrator of a slave labor farm a hundred years later?
The Learning Guide to the film Gone with the Wind contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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