Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind branded as ‘racist’ & ‘harmful’ as new edition hit with trigger warning
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Famous novel Gone With The Wind has been branded as ‘harmful’ and given a trigger warning by its publisher. The book was first published 87 years ago in 1936, and has been loved by many generations.
But, a new edition of Margaret Mitchell’s romantic novel, set during the Civil War, released by Pan Macmillan, contains a caution at the start warning readers of its “problematic” content, including ‘racist’ elements.
The novel was adapted three years later in 1939, and instantly became a hit. It became the highest-earning film made up to that point, and held the record for over a quarter of a century.
The lead character in the movie adaptation of Gone With The Wind Scarlett O’Hara, who is played in the 1939 film adaptation by Vivien Leigh, is the daughter of a plantation owner. The movie also had legendary actor Clark Gable.
According to The Telegraph, the trigger warning reads: “Gone with the Wind is a novel which includes problematic elements including the romanticisation of a shocking era in our history and the horrors of slavery.
“The novel includes the representation of unacceptable practices, racist and stereotypical depictions and troubling themes, characterisation, language and imagery. The text of this book remains true to the original in every way and is reflective of the language and period in which it was originally written.
“We want to alert readers that there may be hurtful or indeed harmful phrases and terminology that were prevalent at the time this novel was written and which are true to the context of the historical setting of this novel.
“Pan Macmillan believes changing the text to reflect today’s world would undermine the authenticity of the original, so has chosen to leave the text in its entirety. This does not, however, constitute an endorsement of the characterisation, content or language used.”