Visiting With Melanie

So, I have wracked my brain for a while pondering fictional characters I would like to talk to in person -- and why. It’s “Blogapalooza” night and that’s our assignment!  No doubt history is “my thing” and there are many times in history’s past that I would want to visit so that I could experience and understand what life was like before I was born.  Somehow I keep coming back to craving the 1800’s.  I would have loved to hang out in London or New York or even Southern cities after the Civil War and before WWI.  It would be most interesting to watch and learn how women functioned in society not much before the notions of “a woman’s place” evolved from the belle of the ball or the subservient “helpmate”.  When the 20th century came women voted, went to school longer and more seriously and entered the work force.

Therefore, I would like to have met and talked to Melanie from Gone with the Wind.  Yep!  Not Scarlett, but Melanie, the more consistent, attractive, second-fiddle woman.  I would want to know if she had the chance to explore beyond her “back yard” – and not only physically.  How did women in those days (if they weren’t super-daring) contain their curiosity and accept a second class roll intellectually?  Did they just push away all curiosity or was real life in those days less suppressive than the books told us?

leslie-howard-and-olivia-de-havilland-in-gone-with-the-wind-1348627376_b

Suppression (is and) was a certain way to diminish what generations of non-dominant males might have accomplished.   Melanie was not abused or neglected, she just lived her own charmed life.  But did she know or understand that there were those unseen limitations from the rest of society?  It would be interesting to find out.

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claire@golandesign.com

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