Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

B is for Best-Selling Novel

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

When it came to look for a Best-Seller to put on the list I decided to start first with 1916, as that book would be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

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But I didn’t see any I was a very big fan of so I went to 1926. Nothing there as well.

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I decided I would then check 1936 and if I couldn’t find a book I was a fan of I would try 1896, then 1886, then 1876, and then go back to 1946 and on and on until I finally found something.

However, I stopped at 1936 with Gone With the Wind.

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Gone With the Wind was published in 1936 and at time sold 176,000 copies. It was a best seller in 1936 and 1937, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and by 1938 sold a million copies. In 1939 the film came out and the book sold two million copies.

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My first introduction to Gone With the Wind was when I first watched the film when a friend and I were going through AFI’s list of the best films. We made it to #15 before we became too busy and haven’t finished doing it since.

Oh well.

Oh well.

Anyways, I watched it and thought the movie was really good. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, it was full of good quotes, and Clark Gable was just amazing as Rhett Butler (funny thing is Margaret Mitchell didn’t want him as she thought he wasn’t handsome enough to be Rhett).

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I didn’t care for Scarlett as I thought she was a…

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And thought she was just horrible, not Vivian Leigh’s performance but her.

Then three years later, as it was on my reading list, I decided to read it, borrowing my mother’s copy. And when I read it I was amazed at how it was a truly fantastic book!

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And I believe that everyone should read it at least once.

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So the book is a huge epic! It follows the Irish O’Hara clan from the father’s immigration into the new world and settling in the South, the radical changes from the Antebellum period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era.  At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

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So let’s list off why one should read this book:

A) Shows How the Irish were Viewed in America

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So we start off with Gerald O’Hara, head of the clan. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such and ends up having to flee because of his political activities. He comes to America and isn’t always treated very nicely, as the Irish weren’t. Often they were made fun off, not allowed in certain areas, and thought to be taking over jobs. He starts working in his brother’s store but what he really wants is land, the very land that was denied him back in Ireland as no Catholic Irish could ever own anything.

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He eventually wins a plantation in a poker game and spends a long time building it up and having it be one of the richest ones in the area. He then decides to marry, but while these Southern families enjoy his wealth and propsperity; none could ever think of marrying their daughter to an Irish immigrant who’s family is unknown. The only thing for him to do is try to find a woman somewhere else, as he returns to his brother for help in finding a bride.

Yes, most don’t realize this but the wealthy South wanted to be like the old manors of Europe. Be the master of the land with pure bloodlines of other wealthy families, not bringing any low class in, and very racist against any that weren’t established in their group. This kind of racism against the Irish and Catholics went much farther than the South and was seen all over the country. Many times Irishmen and women had the lowest class jobs, found it hard to get land and keep it, and found themselves competing against African Americans who would work for lower wages (in the North). While Gerald O’Hara does extremely well, a lot of Irish weren’t able to ever reach that, especially in the South at this time.

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B) Scarlet O’Hara

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Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. All that is expected of her is to marry well and have plenty of children. But Scarlet has always felt different and out of touch with the time she lives in.

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She is extremely intelligent and has great business acumen. In fact it is often remarked that if her brain had been born into a boy she would have been able to go far.

Scarlet doesn’t have life easy either. With the Civil War she finds herself becoming a nurse, a midwife, and eventually has to take on the plantation or risk starvation. Because of those experiences it makes her hard, as with the book we see how she is constantly worried if things will turn out alright, if they can make it, or if they will be back to starvation; everyone looking at her to take care of everything.

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That is an incredible burden to be laid on a teenager (as she is about 17 or 18), let alone one who’s education was “how to look her prettiest”. She becomes tough because if she doesn’t, none of them will survive.

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When the home is attacked, she defends it shooting the deserter and protecting the home and people.

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Now she does steal her sister’s boyfriend, so she has faults, but she does it because she has foresight none of the others do. He has a hardware store, but when Scarlet takes over she also creates a lumber mill, triples the money, and is able to provide for everyone. Even though she accomplishes all this everyone still tells her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. They try to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Using her “ladies mind” which contains a powerful way with numbers.

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She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad personal decisions. Still, for a woman in the 1800s to have her own business, earn her own money, choose who she will marry (several times), is pretty awesome! She is a powerhouse of a character.

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C) Not as Racist as People Think

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People had slaves and if a book mentions it, that is not racist. In fact in this book the slaves aren’t really shown to be stupid, slow, or other clichés; except Lettie who is mentally disabled (something we understand more now than we did then). There is the house slave who didn’t want to work in the fields, but being a house slave was seen as better than an outdoor slave and slaves on the inside often treated the field slaves as being lower class.

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In fact this book isn’t racist to African Americans, but points out racism and hypocrisy that African Americans faced from those who were trying to free them. It is often remarked that while the North wanted the Southern slaves to be free, that did not mean they actually wanted to work with those freed slaves or have them near. There were plenty of racist people living in the North fighting for African American rights, but if they were near an African American they would still treat them cruelly. Mitchell points this out when the new Republicans brought in by Reconstruction say they would never have an African American nanny their children as they have “diseases” and “uncouth ways”. In fact they would much rather ship over an Irish immigrant than ever let their child be touched by someone black.

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What jerks

Many say that Mitchell started this “Mamie” stereotype  creating a myth that all Africans were pleased with being slaves; which Mitchell does not do. Like The Help, which by the way everyone loved and praised, she shows that because the nannies lived in the house and raised the children they sometimes became like family. It didn’t happen with everyone, but in this case Mamie was a mother to Scarlet more than her own mother.

Also people are all different and have their own views, even if they live in the same area. Mitchell presents a look at the many ways people regarded slavery; indifferent as Scarlet, necessary as Mr. O’Hara; and how some treat African Americans rudely, cruelly, or like family.

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D) The Person You Love are Not Always True

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Scarlet is in love with Ashley Wilkes, but they could never marry as her blood (Irish) is too inferior for the Wilkes family. He is to marry none other than his cousin, but instead of flat out saying that to Scarlett, Ashley likes how this beautiful woman who everyone wants loves him and leads Scarlett on, trying to make sure her “flames of love kept burning” because it made him feel good. He was such a jerk and a coward! I mean we’ve all had guys like that who say “they would make the commitment”, but their life isn’t quite together yet. They haven’t reached their plans. And then when you try to move on, they always snag you back, bemoaning that if only things were different; trying to get you to wait for them.

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They get their poisonious hook into you and keep you.

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My friend was in the snare of a guy like Ashley for three years. He would go on about how they couldn’t be together, she deserved someone better; but as soon as she started to move on or see other people he would pop in about how much he cared about her. Constantly stringing her along in this cycle.

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Thankfully she finally realized it or she would have been like Scarlett constantly pining after something she thought she needed when the real prize laid before her. It is horrible, and this book really teaches you the errors of being stuck on someones hook.

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E) Stop Looking to the Past

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Like most people, Scarlett gets stuck in the past. All she can do is think of Ashley and wish of Ashley.

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How many of us have had a broken heart and instead of realizing how that person wasn’t right and deciding to move on, we cling to the past dreaming, wishing hoping. How many of us waste our time like Scarlett?

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Scarlett was so consumed with her dreams and thoughts of the past that she was blind to the person who really loved her, that if she had only let her dream of Ashley die and stop mooning about him she would have seen how much better Rhett was for her.

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F) Never Be afraid to Say How You Feel

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Everyone talks about Scarlett’s blindness and how she was unable to see what she has but you know who was a real coward? Rhett! Rhett never told her he loved her until the very end. Maybe if he had not been so afraid to admit his real feelings and told her the truth about how he felt instead of distancing himself for the fear of her breaking his heart or lording over him, then they might have had a chance at true happiness.

Yes it can be hard to be vulnerable, or share your heart with others. Things can go very wrong of the person doesn’t care. But they can go just as bad of you say nothing and let the person you love pass you on by.

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G) Hold On to Tomorrow

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As Little orphan Annie says, “So you got to hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may!” Even after all she’s been through, Scarlett has an optimism that seems to go against everything else about her. She has faith that in tomorrow things can change. Life is hard now but in the flip of a dime it could turn out better. This kind of optimism we should instill in our life as well. Anything could happen tomorrow, don’t give up as things can get better.

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To start the 30 day challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

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For more on Gone With the Wind, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Margaret Mitchell, go to I Will Survive

For more Ayn Rand quotes, go to The Power is Yours

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Today’s carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. Phillip Brooks visited Bethlehem in 1865 and three years later wrote the poem, asking his organist Lewis Redner to write the music.

“As Christmas of 1868 approached, Mr. Brooks told me that he had written a simple little carol for the Christmas Sunday-school service, and he asked me to write the tune to it. The simple music was written in great haste and under great pressure. We were to practice it on the following Sunday. Mr. Brooks came to me on Friday, and said, ‘Redner, have you ground out that music yet to “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? I replied, ‘No,’ but that he should have it by Sunday. On the Saturday night previous my brain was all confused about the tune. I thought more about my Sunday-school lesson than I did about the music. But I was roused from sleep late in the night hearing an angel-strain whispering in my ear, and seizing a piece of music paper I jotted down the treble of the tune as we now have it, and on Sunday morning before going to church I filled in the harmony. Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of 1868.”

Amazing. Now it is famous and such a part of the festive year. My favorite version is the Nat King Cole one.

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For more Christmas carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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By Boat, By Train, By Foot, By Plane

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28) Somewhere You Would Like to Move to or Visit

There are actually quite a few places I would love to visit. As you all know, I’m all about history and art history so I would like to eventually travel the world and see some of these things.

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1) Italy

I’ve always wanted to see Venice, Rome, Florence, & Sicily. There’s the Sistine Chapel, the colosseum, Masaccio’s works, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci…I could go on and on.

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For more in Italy, go to I Don’t Want to Own You, I Just Want to Be With You: A Room With a View (1985)

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2) Denmark

As stated before, I am Danish and really want to visit the country. I would love to go to the Hans Christian Anderson Museum, along with other

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3) Mexico

I have already been here once, but there is still so much I want to see, Chitzen Itza being one of them.

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4) Egypt

I have been obsessed with Egypt ever since I was young, I guess I saw The Mummy one too many times. I have always loved looking at the Pyramids and really want to see them in person one day. Although I probably die from heatstroke. 🙂 J/K

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For more on Egypt, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

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5) England

Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, Downton Abbey, North & South, Charles Dickens, the Beatles, the Who, etc. Some of the best things have come out of England and I would love to go visit, instead of reading about it.

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For more on England, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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6) Greece

Once again the Art and architecture call me to them. Not to mention the island of Crete and Mount Olympus.

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7) China

I have always wanted to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Always.

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8) France

The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Impressionist artwork, etc. I would love to see this place as well.

For more on France, go to Marry Me: Gigi (1958)

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9) Prince Edward Island

I LOVE Anne of Green Gables and really, really want to see the place. REALLY, really bad.

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For more on Prince Edward Island, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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10) Ireland

I took a class on Irish History and just fell in love with it. I really want to visit it now.

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11) Scotland

I have always wanted to visit Loch Ness and try and spot the Loch Ness Monster (it’s out there). And after seeing Braveheart and reading The Cat Who Series I was introduced into Scotland and it’s history, making me want to visit even more.

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12) All 50 States of the United States

I love American history as it is so interesting and complex. One day I want to visit every one of our states and every monument. So far I have been to Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Only 42 left to go. 🙂

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Ya Bothering Me

Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

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So with Saint Patrick’s Day, we have once again seventeen Irish heros from all sorts of media. Enjoy!

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17) Rory Dugan AKA Cu Chulainn from Gargoyles

In this Gargoyles episode the gargoyles had been to Avalon, and are trying to get home. Avalon never sends anyone where they want to go, but where they are needed. The crew find themselves in Ireland.

In Ireland, Rory Dugan is constantly being nagged by his father to get a better job, but he just enjoys being in the land, being a part of it. His best friend, Meghan is trying to get him to go to America, but Rory does not want to leave.

When the Gargoyles come into the land, the evil Banshee imprisons them as she is going to destroy all of Ireland. Bronx manages to slip away and he comes upon Rory. When the Banshee tries to bring destruction, Rory reawakens with Bronx’s help, into the ancient figure Cu Chulainn, to battle once more.

Why Cu Chulainn is Awesome:

At first glance he is just a sweet guy in love with his home country and trying to do what he wants, even though he is constantly pressured by his father. You wouldn’t have pegged him for some kind of warrior, that is until he transforms and becomes this awesome figure.

For more on Gargoyles, go to A FANtastic Voyage

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16) Mickey McGinnes from Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels is an amazing show that I just absolutely love. Hell on Wheels takes place after the Civil War, in which railroad companies are trying to create raillines all over the United States. Thomas “Doc” Durant is the one who is in charge of the investors and building the railroad. Thor Gundreson is his security man, known as the Swede, even though he is Norwegian. They oversee a huge group of people: freed slaves, immigrants, and others leaving the South and North looking for jobs. Cullen Bohannon, an ex-confederate soldier, becomes foreman of the railroad,  but unbeknownst to anyone, Cullen has a secret vendetta, to kill the men who raped and murdered his wife and child.

Why Mickey McGinnes is Awesome:

Mickey McGinnes is the younger brother of Seán and one of the many immigrants coming over from Ireland to make their fortune in America. He and his brother don’t actually work the railroad, but have a picture show that they charge workers to see photos of Ireland, along with singing and playing Irish music. Now I’ve only seen season one, so this might change later, but Mickey is a sweet guy who is trying to achieve his and his brother’s dream; along with helping to take care of their improvised family back home in Ireland. His biggest flaw is that fails to think things through all the time, but is adorable and sweet enough to gain your forgiveness.

For more on Hell on Wheels, go to Fandom Love

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chocolat32615) Roux from Chocolat (2000)

A woman and her daughter move to a small French town to open a chocolate shop. With their unorthodox ways, they begin sweetening up the village. But not everything they do is accepted. As Lent approaches many find their chocolate being immoral; many are appalled at their encouragement of the gypsies; and few approve of their influence over a townswoman to leave her abusive husband. Now the two find themseves deciding whether to stay and fight, or run away and start anew.

Why Roux is Awesome:

Roux is barely in the film, but of what we do see we like. And I’m not just talking about the fact that he is played by Johnny Depp. Roux is an Irish gypsy that is trying to raises money by selling handcrafted bracelets. He also is an excellent handyman and a musician. He uses both talents to assist Vivienne, the chocolate shop owner, in repairs and entertainment. In addition to that, he has a great heart, caring for an orphan gypsy girl.

For more on Johnny Depp, go to Krueger Town

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14) Sam McGuire from Lizzie McGuire

Lizzie McGuire was a show about a preteen girl; trying to become her own person. She often would spend the episode talking to her inner self (shown by cartoon). She had two quirky parents who actually parented (rare for TV); an annoying, younger brother, Matt; and two best friends, Gordo and Miranda. Lizzie was crazy about the hottest guy in school, Ethan, and was constantly bullied by the most popular girl in school, Kate. It was a hilarious and endearing show.

Why Mr. McGuire is Awesome:

Lizzie’s dad is very quirky, for instance he paints gnomes. He was a bit of a nerd growing up, and continued through the rest of his life. Often times he leaves the parenting up to his wife Jo, as he never punishes as much as Jo wants and agrees to things that could be possibly dangerous, (for instance some of Matt’s pranks). But, Sam is always there for his kids when they need him. He helps Lizzie out with her insecurities, is supportive of the activities they want to do; and above all makes sure he has time set aside for them.

For more Lizzie McGuire & Family, go to Night of the Day of the Dead: Lizzie McGuire (2001)

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13) Seán McGinnes from Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels is an amazing show that I just absolutely love. Hell on Wheels takes place after the Civil War, in which railroad companies are trying to create raillines all over the United States. Thomas “Doc” Durant is the one who is in charge of the investors and building the railroad. Thor Gundreson is his security man, known as the Swede, even though he is Norwegian. They oversee a huge group of people: freed slaves, immigrants, and others leaving the South and North looking for jobs. Cullen Bohannon, an ex-confederate soldier, becomes foreman of the railroad,  but unbeknownst to anyone, Cullen has a secret vendetta, to kill the men who raped and murdered his wife and child.

Why Seán is Awesome:

Seán is the older brother of Mickey (#16) and is also one of the many immigrants coming from Ireland in hopes of a better future. Seán, being the eldest, is much more responsible, hard-working, and thinks about the future and what his actions may or may not bring about. As I mentioned above, Mickey is short-sided and lives in the now, Seán is the one thinking ahead, making sure they can provide for themselves, and send money back home to the family. Mickey’s impetuousness can get the two into trouble, whole Seán’s level-head gets them out. When the Swede wants money from them in order to “protect” their business, Seán does not want to pay. In fact, he becomes an instrumental figure in ousting the Swede from the company. Now as I have mentioned before, I have yet to watch the rest of the seasons, so his character might change, but for now he is one awesome man.

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Hilary Duff stars in ``Lizzie McGuire'' Thursday on Family Channel.

12) Lizzie McGuire from Lizzie McGuire

Lizzie McGuire was a show about a preteen girl; trying to become her own person. She often would spend the episode talking to her inner self (shown by cartoon). She had two quirky parents who actually parented (rare for TV); an annoying, younger brother; and two best friends. Lizzie was crazy about the hottest guy in school, Ethan, and was constantly bullied by the most popular girl in school, Kate. It was a hilarious and endearing show.

Why Lizzie McGuire is Awesome:

What other preteen girl growing up in the ’90s-2000s didn’t want to be Lizzie McGuire? Lizzie was awesome as she was just a regular girl, trying to live a normal life, but as we know life is never normal. She had amazing clothes and was always involved in cool things; such as going to a Scottish poetry night, in a mystery dinner party, meeting Aaron Carter, dating Frankie Muniz, having an amazing 1940s swing dance, a zombie Halloween, etc. Every preteen wanted to live her life and be just like Lizzie, a awesome girl with a heart of gold.

For more Lizzie McGuire, go to Disney Lesson

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11)Det. Lt. Mark McPherson from Laura

I highly recommend reading my review of this film, or watching the movie yourself. It is really amazing, a great whodunit and film noir.

In this film noir, Det. Lt. Mark McPherson is investigating the death of the beautiful, intelligent, i.e the perfect woman; Laura. Even though Laura is someone that everyone would love, and no one would want dead, there are actually quite a few people on McPherson’s suspect list; including her cousin, fianceé, and best friend. As he continues to investigate he encounters an even bigger surprise.

Why McPherson is Awesome:

At first McPherson is cold, gruff, and concludes that there is nothing that special about Laura, every dame is the same. If you read between the lines you can see that McPherson had his heart broken, and since then has had a poor view on women and love. However, as he starts investigating into who Laura is and looking at all her things, he begins to fall in love with who she was, melting that icy exterior and showing his true caring heart. When Laura appears, he has to investigate her; never allowing personal feelings to come before the job, but at the same time is able to finally let down his walls and find true happiness.

For more on Laura, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

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10) Hannah McDermott from Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

Hannah is Irish and proud of it. She lives on Galvston Island with her parents, and has a burgeoning photography buisness, Picture This! Hannah is constantly stuggling as she feels she is second best. Second to her sisters as they are all married with kids; second in photography to Drew Kincaid, etc. She keeps trying to get a leg up on her competition, but finds herself second, as always. She tries to get on board with Bella Neeley, Club Wed’s famous Wedding Planner, and finds herself in one crazy adventure involving Bella’s large family, a country music diva, a famous actor, and of course her competition: Drew Kincaid. As she goes along she finds her faith tested, along with discovering that her judgements of what she thinks of people, and how she feels people think if her may not be right at all.

Why Hannah is Awesome:

Hannah is a very real character that is trying to find her place and foothold in the world. She tries to control everything, but soon discovers that she must give it all up to God. She does befriend Bella in order for Bella to improve her business, but immediately apologizes to Bella and starts to be with her just for the friendship of Bella. When she discovers that she is wrong about Drew, she begins to trust him and treats him as nice as possible to make up for it.

For more on Janice Thompson, go to Pizza Power

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9) Joe from Bend it Like Beckham

Jesminder “Jess” Kaur Bhamra is from an orthodox Sikh family living in London, England. Her parents are very traditional, and don’t approve of her love of  football/soccer. One day, Juliettte “Jules” Paxton, spots her playing with friends and invites her to join the girls’ football league. She does, but has to hide it from her family, along with dealing with the clash between her culture, race, and dreams. She becomes very close to the coach Joe, which causes issues as her now best friend Jules has a huge crush on him; along with the fact that he is not a good Indian boy. Everything comes to a head when the tournament falls on the same day as her sister’s wedding; forcing her to make a choice.

Why Joe is Awesome:

Joe is an amazing guy. He had to deal with racism all his life, as he is thoroughly Irish. His father wanted him to be the best soccer player ever, pushing him when he had an injury, and causing him to blow his knee. Brokenhearted as he could no longer play, he instead took over the job of coaching, starting a girl’s league. He is kind and sweet; yet still tough and great at working with the girls to achieve their maximum levels.

When Jess comes on the team he is a great support and encourager as he understands what it is like to be different. He really tries to get her to go for her dreams and not give up because of what her family thinks. He ends up falling for Jess, and even though she wants to keep it a secret because of her parents, he pushes it forward; wanting everything out in the open. The two becoming a couple when he is no longer her coach.

And the last reason why Joe is awesome? He’s played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, one of the most attractive men ever to be here on the planet. He just has stunning eyes, smile…*swoon*

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Picture Perfect

8) Drew Kincaid from Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

Drew Kincaid is a good ole’ Irish boy. He served as a Marine and then moved home to Galvston Island to take care of his mother after his father died. He started a photography buisness and has been blessed by being named Bella Neeley’s #1 pick along with having photographed famous Brock Bensen, TV icon. He meets Hannah McDermott at an interview, and soon after finds himself running into her. He is very intrigued with Hannah and starts making excuses to see her more and more.

Why Drew is awesome:

Drew is a true romantic hero. He is always kind and sweet to Hannah, interceding when a guy tries to become too familiar with her. He never considers her as competition, but an equal and is always very honest and forthcoming with her. He is always willing to lend a hand, sympathetic ear, or an extra camera. When Hannah says they can’t date because their families have been feuding for decades (a story her father told her that proved false), he researches all her can to create a truce, as was done in the old country, and proposes in Gaelic. *Swoon*

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Nate Ford

7) Nate Ford from Leverage

In Leverage Nate Ford brings together different criminals; hacker Alec Hardisan, thief Parker, grifter Sophie Devereaux, , and hitter Eliot Spencer; in order to take down the corrupt. What starts out as a one time thing, becomes a company as they travel all over the U.S., Africa, etc; and commit various cons: being a chocolate taster, pretending to be a famous fashion designer, taking over a private school, taking over a cooking school, etc.; in order to help out the little guy getting shafted.

Why Nate is Awesome:

Nate had a con artist father, and devoted his adult life to investigating insurance claims, taking down those who tried to con the company. He saved the company millions, but when his son was sick, the company refused to pay out. He was always spurred on by his sense of justice, and this injustice of a big corporation that was supposed to help, became a catalyst to creating the Leverage team.

Of the group Nate is the mastermind, always planning, plotting, and figuring out a way to use people the best way to achieve his results. He cares about the crew, and gets to know them better than they know themselves, figuring out what strengths they have and what more they can do; pushing them to be better. In a lot of ways he fathers his team members, nurturing them and helping them stay on the straight and narrow path.

For more on Leverage, go to A Fantabulous Post

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Thomas O'Malley

6)Thomas O’Malley from The Aristocats

When butler Edgar finds out that his rich, elderly, employer is leaving all her money to her cats, with Edgar second; he decides to get rid of them. He drugs the cat, Duchess, and her three kittens; Marie, Toulouse, and Berlioz; dumping them out in the country. These pampered pets awaken to a shock and have no idea how to get home. Luckily for them, they meet a tomcat, Thomas O’Malley, an amorous animal, who is at first only interested in Duchess, but decides to help the whole family. Their adventure involves train disasters, near drowning, some silly english geese, Thomas O’Malley’s crew, and one of the best songs Disney as ever written Everybody Wants to Be a Cat

Why Thomas O’Malley is awesome:

At first Thomas is a cad, there is no way around that. He is a wandering cat and going off with any pretty cat he can find. When he comes upon Duchess, she sees through his act and cuts him down to size with her impeccable grace. He agrees to get them a ride, throwing himself in front of a milk car, and believes that to be his good deed, unwittingly finding that false and him caught up with them again. He agrees to stay and help them find their way home; rescuing Marie twice, and giving up his pad for them to rest in. He loves Duchess, but would never dream of trying to pull her away from her home and misstress, and decides to leave. But when Edgar causes problems and Duchess needs him, he comes running back saving the family, with a little help from his friends. In the end he decides to give up his freedom and wandering ways, for a different life, one of stability, love, and family with Duchess. Besides those amazing qualities, Thomas puts the “cool” in “cool cat” and is one sweet rocker

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5) Jimmy Quinn from The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow is set in the future and is a retelling of the Jesuit missionaries to the “New World” aka America, this time going into outer space. Emilio, a Jesuit priest, is the only crew member to survive the expedition to the planet Rakhat and he is damaged physically and psychologically, unable to reveal what occurred. The rest of the story is told back and forth between the present time of Emilio’s arrival on Earth as his fellow Jesuits try to find out what happened and flashbacks to when the expedition first began. The expedition began when music from another planet is picked up by one of Earth’s satellite. Jimmy Quinn is the one who notices this and alerts his friends: Emilio the Jesuit priest; Ann and her husband who are both doctors; and Sofia, a linguist and programer. Emilio presents the possibility of creating a mission to another planet to teach and learn about them, see more of God’s creation, grow closer to Him, etc. It quickly snowballs and the group, plus a few more characters set off for the other planet. This trip turns out to much more than they expected as they discover that history not only repeats itself, but that this trip holds more than any had dreamed of.

Why Jimmy Quinn is Awesome:

Jimmy is a sweet gangly guy, who grew up in New York and studied science. He hoped to get a job, but like most graduates, finds very few places hiring. He ends up working at a station that pays pittance, but takes it all in stride, grateful and happy to have something. I think that really describes Jimmy’s personality the best; he is kind, sweet, happy, and always grateful for the little things. When his company brings in a programer, Sofia, who will analyze his job and try to create a computer system to replace him; he isn’t petty, rude, or, mean; but just takes in his usual stride. He falls for Sofia, but she doesn’t care the same for him; and he takes the rejection better than most. He is never rude, cruel, or harsh; but goes on treating her the same way as always. This causes Sofia to take another look his way, and he eventually wins her heart. Now his treatment of Sofia is one of the sweetest things about him as Sofia had a really hard life. Her family was murdered and she found herself all alone, having to resort to prostitution to get by. She is eventually bought by a man, who doesn’t touch her but educates her; keeping her in a sense a slave, mentally prostituting her out to improve systems, create programs, etc. She is able to buy her freedom and leave, joining the crew; but has a lot of issues in how to deal with people and her expectations of them hurting her. Jimmy is able to comfort her, not judge her; listen to her, and really care about taking care of her wants, needs, and desires; something she has not had since she has been a little girl. Jimmy is undeniably sweet, and readily earned his spot on this list.

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4) Minnie Powell from The Shadow of a Gunman by Sean O’Casey

Shadow of the Gunman takes place in 1923 during the Irish War of Independence. Donal Devoren is a poet living in a tenement house in Ireland. Everyne suspects that he is a gunman for the IRA. Donal doesn’t proclaim he is, but he also doesn’t defute the rumors as it gives him notoriety in the building and the affection of Minnie Powell. Donal rents a home with Seumas Sheilds. Mr. Maguire, a salesman, friends with Seumas, asks Donal if he can store his case in the apartment while he is out of town. It turns out that Mr. Maguire is actually an IRA member, and has stored his case full of bombs. The IRA ambush the city, and the Auxiliary places a curfew. They later start raiding the tenements, when Seumas and Donal discover the case of bombs. Donal feels caught in his lie, and doesn’t know how to resolve it. Minnie takes it upon herself to get rid of the case, being killed in the process.

Why Minnie is awesome:

At first Minnie seems like some starstruck girl, but in reality she is a brave, young woman who deeply loves her country and cares for Donal. She believes in what the IRA wants to accomplish, and wants a free Ireland. When the raids start and she discovers that Donal has a case of bombs which will mean his imprisonment, and most likley death, Minnie steals the case and saves Donal’s life, killing herself in the process. She is a true patriot, along with being brave and kind-hearted, sacrificing herself for the love of another.

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3) Samson “Sam” Flusky from Under Capricorn

I love this movie a lot, although I know I am in the minority. Now as I felt the urge to include Sam Flusky on my list, I knew that I would first have to review the film. I did for Horrorfest III, of which you can read the review if you wish (I recommend it!) For those who don’t wish to, I will give a brief synopsis.

This film takes place in early 19th Century Australia. Australia has formerly been a place where England sent their criminals, there they would serve out their sentence and live there, or return home to England. Now however, more and more “good” citizens have found themselves emigrating to Australia and civilizing the towns. The new Governor, Sir Richard arrives, bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare. Charles meets, Samson “Sam” Flusky, an ex-convict, former murderer, and prospering land owner. He intrigues him in a business deal and brings Charles to his house, in which he meets Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta, who turns out to be an old family friend. Charles soon spends all his time at the house and finds something strange about Henrietta’s actions, as she is no longer the same woman he knew. As with all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is suspense, mystery, and an old secret’s truth is revealed.

Why Sam is Awesome:

Now if my little synopsis has encouraged you to watch the film, then stop reading. If you aren’t interested in watching the film, proceed.

Sam is amazing because of everything he has ever done for Henrietta. When we first watch the film we see a tough, gruff, man, but in reality there is so much more than his exterior. Everything Sam has done has been for the love of his wife. You see after watching the whole film, it is revealed that Sam is not a murder. He and Henrietta fell in love when they were back in Ireland. He was just a stable boy with nothing to offer her, while she was the lady of the house. She wanted to be with him, and they both knew her parents would not approve. They eloped and ran off to England, where Sam was determined to care for her. Unfortunately, Henrietta’s brother followed them, and tried to kill Sam. As the two struggled, he dropped his gun and Henrietta picked it up, shooting her brother before he could kill Sam. When the police came, Sam tells them he did it, as he did not want Henrietta killed or forced to serve prison time. Luckily, Sam is offered Australia instead of the noose, and chooses that. Henrietta follows him, and when Sam is out of prison, he is different, and also guilty, as he feels he ruined Henrietta’s life. He is then determined to become extremely prosperous, so that she may have the life she deserves. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that Henrietta is full of guilt for killing her brother, Sam taking the blame, and for Sam having to serve a prison sentence when he was innocent. This causes her to go into a depression, and drink. Through it all Sam tries to love her and be there for her; bringing in her old friend Charles Adare, and firing the poisonous maid. But he still feels he is not enough, as he is from a lower class. When he accidentally shoots Charles Adare, he is headed for the noose. Henrietta admits she killed her brother, which if Sam corroberates will send her to prison and him free. Sam would rather die for Henrietta than allow her to have to serve prison time. Luckily, Charles recovers and confirms it was all an accident; allowing the now guilt free couple a second chance.

Isn’t Sam just the most amazing guy ever? And played by Joseph Cotten.

For more on Under Capricorn, go to The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949).

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Angel

2) Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  Buffy is a teenage girl who has discovered she is now The Slayer, the one who is to hunt vampires, demons, and other monsters. She is teamed up with Willow, computer expert and witch; Xander, loyal but not always thinking things through; Cordelia, the prom queen; and Oz, computer expert, band member, and werewolf. Buffy is trained by her watcher, Giles, the school librarian. Along the way she meets the tall, handsome, brooding Angel; a vampire with a soul, who helps her destroy evil.

Why Angel is Awesome:

Angel was an normal Irish man living in the turn of the century Ireland, when he was attacked and turned into a vampire. Sorry Dracula, Edward, and all the like: Angel is the hottest vampire to walk the planet.

Angel

When he lost his soul during the vampire transformation, he was changed from a kind, caring,  sweet man into pure evil. A group of witches put a spell on him, transforming him back to being his kind, tender self. He is one of the most romantic figures as he is just so incredibly sweet and caring to Buffy. He always tries to help her and protect her, to the best of his abilities.

In one episode Buffy is injured by demon blood, and will die unless they can get it’s heart, the antidote. He immediately goes out to get it, running around in daylight, burning and practically killing himself, in order to save Buffy. So romantic!

The saddest episode was when Angel left, as he knew he could never be with Buffy. For one thing, he’s a vampire and she’s a human. And the other, when he becomes incredibly happy, he will lose his soul and become evil once again. It was heartbreaking to see him go, but at least he came to the prom with her, to make her happy one last time. I love him as he is just my type.

To find out who you should be with, go here.

To find out who you should be with, go here.

For more on Angelgo to Simply Fantastic

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1) Steve Rogers aka Captain America from Captain America comics and films

Steve Rogers, later to be Captain America, was born in New York to poor Irish immigrants. His parents both died of disease, leaving behind a sickly, scrawny son. He was a true patriot, disturbed by the Third Reich and Nazis, wanting to help fight in WWII. Unfortunately, he failed all the tests due to his many medical issues, but was put on the list of people possible to become a super soldier. He was given the serum and turned into a man with peak strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence. He later becomes the only one, as the scientist who created the serum was killed without writing down the steps & chemicals. He then becomes the Captain America, fighting the Red Skull and eventually leading the Avengers.

Why Steve Rogers is Awesome:

HE IS CAPTAIN AMERICA! That is all that really needs to be said. I just absolutely love Captain America and I think he is one of the best superheros ever. He is so earnest, sweet, utter perfection! I could go on and on, but I have before in my post Simply FantasticRead it for some hardcore fangirling!

For more on Captain America, go to Simply Fantastic or Fanning All Over the Place

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So that ends another Saint Patrick’s day post.

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I hope you all enjoy it and have a great day filled with green, soda bread, corn beef, and cabbage.

ShamrockIrishBlessing

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For more Saint Patrick’s Day posts, go to At the End of the Rainbow

For more on Disney, go to If the Shoe Fits: Why Cinderella is Actually Awesome

For more quizzes, go to Don’t You Forget About Me

An Unlikely Cameo

So I’m currently taking an Irish Nationalism class and have to write a paper on Quakers and the Irish Famine. So there I am looking through some history books for any pieces I could find  about the Quakers.

Then I come across this book:

021914215220

So I go to the contents page to see what what he has, planning to check the index if that failed to net me anything. When I see:

021914215202g

See that? See that. I see what you did there Patrick O’Farrell. I don’t know who you are, but I bet you are an Austenite. 🙂

So I totally had to share that. If you want to read more on my thoughts of Pride and Prejudice check out Parental Favoritism or check out the Pride and Prejudice Category on the left

To check out more of my writings on Irishmen & women go to Pot O’ Gold or come back on the 17th to check out my Saint Patrick’s Day post