So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Day 16) P is for Politics: Choose a book that is Political

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe

In 1852 this book was published and created a phenomena. It became the highest selling book of the 19th century, just behind the Bible. The first year it sold over 300,000 copies in the United States and three years later over a million in the U.K.

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This book is credited with, like The Jungle, being a revolutionary change in the actual world.

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In fact the political change they believe it started, was the helping bring about more awareness of slavery in the South and promoting abolitionism that sparked the Civil War.

Wow

Wow

In fact, Stowe’s family claims that when Harriet Beecher Stowe met Abraham Lincoln, he greeted her with “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” Whether or not this is true has been disputed for years with no one really certain whether it happened or not.

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Stowe was the daughter of minister Lyman Beecher, and wrote this novel to depict slavery, along with showing Christianity and being an allegory of Christ.

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I started reading this book when I was going down a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. As I borrowed the book from the library my mom spotted it and said she loved the book, it was one of her favorites.

I wasn’t thrilled to read it at first as I had heard it was a “bad book”, you know making fun of those of African-American descent.

I don't know...

I don’t know…

I started reading it and became sucked in:

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I was surprised as it was AMAZING! I couldn’t understand why people hated it. It was fantasticly written and such a great story.

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So many people today view the novel negatively; the way it uses “sentiment” to pull at heart strings, how all the slaves “had” to be helped by white men and women, and the fact that Tom never ran away but chose to honor the “contract” of his masters.

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But what they fail to see is that it is a powerful story, has some truly great African and white characters, and that Tom is supposed to represent Christ and the things he went through to save our souls.

Wow

Wow

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So the book focuses on six main characters: Tom (called Uncle Tom by others), Eliza, Augustine St. Clare, Eva St. Claire, Ophelia, and Cassey; and their views, interactions, and how they are changed or shaped by slavery.

Tom is a strong, middle aged, African-American slave. He is also a devout Christian and tries to embody the scriptures and live his life for the Lord.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:43-44

“All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” 1 Timothy 6:1

Tom has been a part of the Shelby family for a long time, and has a family and children. As Tom knows how to read, his cabin is the place for the other slaves to go and hear about Christ along with getting individual instructions. George Shelby is the young “master” of the house and spends all his time with his “Uncle Tom”. In fact Tom is more of a father to him then his own father, and also his religious instructor.

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However, the Shelby’s have debts and they have to sell somethings…or in this case some people. They choose Tom as his height and strength will get a lot and we have the incredible sadness of seeing a family torn apart because of an archaic principle.

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Another slave, Mrs. Shelby’s maid, Eliza is married to a slave from another plantation. After a series of miscarriages, the two were finally able to give birth to a boy, Harry. While the Shelbys are a kind people, George’s master is cruel and he can’t stand it anymore.

“My master! and who made him my master? That’s what I think of–what right has he to me? I’m a man as much as he is. I’m a better man than he is. I know more about business than he does; I am a better manager than he is; I can read better than he can; I can write a better hand,–and I’ve learned it all myself, and no thanks to him,–I’ve learned it in spite of him; and now what right has he to make a dray-horse of me?–to take me from things I can do, and do better than he can, and put me to work that any horse can do…he puts me to just the hardest, meanest, and dirtiest work, on purpose!”

George decides to flee to Canada, earn enough money, and then return to purchase his wife and son. After he takes off, Eliza gets the news that she will be sold as well to pay the debts.

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Afraid to be separated from her child, she too tries to take the long road to freedom.

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As Tom is taken away, George vows to one day buy his friend back and free him.

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Tom is sold to a trader and being transported on a riverboat when he spots a little girl, Eva St. Clare. He misses his own children, so he begins amuses her, and she begs her father to buy him. Augustine St. Clare loves his little girl and gives in to her every whim. He buys Tom and takes him to his plantation.

Here Tom and Eva share their love of Christ as they both have a strong faith and relationship with the Lord. We also meet St. Clare’s sister Ophelia, who is from the North, who has moved to help take care of the house. Now here we have a great critique on the North’s treatment of African Americans. Ophelia is an aggressive abolitionist, constantly lecturing St. Clare and talking about the evils of slavery, yet she can’t stand to be around those of African-American descent. She is a complete racist, but can’t even admit it to herself.

“Well!” said Miss Ophelia, “you southern children can do something that I couldn’t.”
“What, now, pray?” said St. Clare.
“Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I wouldn’t have anything hurt; but as to kissing – ”
“N*****,” said St. Clare, “that you’re not up to, – hey?”
“Yes, that’s it. How can she?”

St. Clare, tired of her constant lecturing, buys her a slave girl, Topsy, and bets she won’t be able to help her. At first Ophelia does poorly, having to instead be lead by Eva in showing kindness.

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Eva and Topsy become best of friends, even though they “should” be separated buy race and class, it doesn’t matter to Eva as all she sees is someone who needs love.

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Augustine is another interesting character as he isn’t a fan of slavery, but won’t do anything. He sees the way Christianity is, how his daughter lives but won’t commit to it. He is supposed to represent the people who were against slavery but never took a stand against it, waiting for future people to decide or others to fight. When his daughter dies, he is utterly heartbroken.

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He promised Eva on her deathbed to release the slaves and become an abolitionist for his daughter, but waits too long and is killed before he can do it.

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Meanwhile, Eliza has been running for her life and from slave catchers, and she actually manages to find her husband. After they go through horrible hardships they manage to make it to Canada and freedom.

Tom is sold by St. Clare’s wife, while Ophelia returns to the North with Topsy, taking what she learned with her, as Topsy does the same.

Tom is sold again, this time to the incredibly cruel owner Simon Legree. He rapes and beats his slaves. He begins to hate Tom and treat him in unspeakable ways. He has a slave, Cassy, who is his unwilling mistress. He has stolen her children from her and sold them, beat her, and just given her a horrible life. She is bitter and in pain.

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She is a quadroon, one quarter black, so she has a strange place in society. She is better educated than most, but is a sex slave, representing the harsh lives of female slaves and how they are at the whim of their master more than the men. Simon is planning on replacing Cassy with a young girl he just bought, Emmiline.

One day as they are picking cotton, Tom sees a woman struggling to fill her sack and looking at horribly beaten or worse. He helps her, aided by Cassy, and is then ordered to whip the women by Legree. When Tom refuses, Legree whips him and Tom has earned a permanent spot on his hit list.

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Tom’s pain makes him consider turning back on his faith, but he sees a vision and remains true.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” Psalm 89:1

Cassy knows the life that Emmeline will have and decides to run away with her. When Simon finds them gone he tries to beat the answer out of Tom, but he will not reveal anything. He is so horribly treated that he begins to die.

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George arrives to buy him, but is too late. He fights with Simon and takes Tom’s body, giving him a proper burial.

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

Cassy and Emmeline reach Canada and find themselves with George Harris and Eliza. It turns out that Eliza is Cassy’s daughter, and the two are finally reunited.

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In the end George goes home and decides to honor Tom and free all his slaves:

“It was on his grave, my friends, that I resolved, before God, that I would never own another slave, while it is possible to free him; that nobody, through me, should ever run the risk of being parted from home and friends, and dying on a lonely plantation, as he died. So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to that good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom, every time you see UNCLE TOM’S CABIN; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.”

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So this story is an amazing thing. Why would people call it horrible?

Why not?

Why?

Well what I personally feel has caused this shift from honoring Uncle Tom and all the other characters to having their names now be used as derogatory terms was the over-popularity of the novel.

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As this book became so sought after and was selling millions of copies; everyone wanted a piece of the pie; but when there such a wide amount of people madly grabbing to make their fortunes, they tend to forget about what the book actually stood for and was trying to change. Plays and films were being made based on the story, but instead of honoring and revealing the social issues that Harriet Beecher Stowe was writing about, these pieces became all about entertainment and cheap laughs. No longer are we shown the characters going through different trials to reveal the hypocrisies and social injustices of the time, but instead are given pure comedy or in extreme cases sexual innuendo.

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Too few people actually read the novel and understood how the characters and situations can be easily relatable.

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Uncle Tom is more than a slave toiling in the United States waiting for his freedom, but is a figurehead for any oppressed people. As David Reynolds writes in his book, Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Fight for America, Tom easily connected to the Russian serfs; the Chinese peasants, the Chinese immigrants in America, Jews all over the world, black slaves in Brazil, black slaves in Cuba, etc. Tom’s passive resistance to Simon Legree, as he does not listen to Legree’s warning but continues to stand up for what he believes in and aids Cassy, and Emmeline; can even connect to passive resistance done by Gandhi in India, Martin Luther King Jr. in the South, and Cesar Chavez here in California. While the unjust situations may never be the same as those that Tom or the other slaves faced, wherever trouble arises and people are suffering Uncle Tom is there struggling alongside and encouraging the oppressed that everything will be alright in the end.

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Another way that Tom’s character is still so relatable and present in today’s time is how loving and willing he is to protect others. Tom lives by the mantra “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few”; causing him to be the type of person we all want to be. The way Tom lays down his life so that the rest of the Shelby slaves could be spared and in the end dying to protect Cassy and Emmeline; is behavior we all admire and hope would imitate in such situations; as no one wants to imagine themselves being a Sambo or Quimbo character; betraying their fellow man to protect their own interests. We all recognize the value and honor of self-sacrifice for a person or a cause.

In Stowe’s novel she hit upon so many issues, and attempted (and in some cases succeeded) in trying to make a difference in how African-Americans were treated. While she did not completely change the way the United States worked, or resolved every issue; her novel did bring awareness and start people talking and thinking about abolition, integration, education, religion, politics, etc. This initial jolt eventually set America on a path to striving for change.

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

For the previous post, go to The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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For more Harriet Beecher Stowe, go to If It Means A Lot to You

For more on the Civil War, go to Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

For more Frank Peretti, go to A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

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Today’s song is O Holy Night. In 1843 Roquemaure, France; the church organ was renovated. The priest asked wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau, to write a poem to commemorate the event. Four years later it was turned into a Christmas carol by compser, Adolphe Adam.

In 1855, minister John Sullivan Dwight translated and created the version that most sing today.

I choose the version by Josh Groban.

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For more Josh Groban, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Christmas Carols, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

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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

Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

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So this year is the year of the Sheep, and since it is hard to find favorite sheep like horses, as I did in last years A Horse’s Tale, this year I’m going to have to revert back to my 2012 post Snakes on a Postin which I counted down my favorite snake moments from films. This year I’m going to pick my fav sheep, ram, lamb, goat, and ewe moments/characters.

But before I go there, let’s talk about those born in the year of the sheep. Now this symbol of the Chinese Zodiac is not just sheep, it can also be symbolized by a ram or goat, hence my using all types in my countdown. Sheep tend to be shy and well-mannered, but can also be awkward and not socially adept at things. They have charm, innocence, and attract loyal friends. Sheep people are often dreamy and starry-eyed, and can be extremely insecure finding themselves relying heavily on something for a sense of security in life. They work best with rabbits, pigs, and horses.

Famous sheep include Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Bruce Willis, Orville Wright, and the amazing Jane Austen.

So now onto the countdown.

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Toy Story

7) Toy Story (1995)

I’m sure all of you know the plot to this, but just in case…When you were a kid did you ever think that your toys came to life when you were gone and moved around on their own? Well in Toy Story they address the question that every kid was wondering and say, “yes, they do”.

Whenever Andy leaves his room his toys come to life. These toys are lead by a cowboy named Woody (Tom Hanks). As the family is moving, Andy’s birthday party is moved up and he gets lots of space type things, including a new space toy, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). Woody becomes jealous as he is demoted from Andy’s favorite toy, and everyone in the toy chest is going ga-ga over Buzz. One day Woody accidentally knocks Buzz outside Andy’s window. He and the other toys believe that Woody killed him, the other toys believing he did it on purpose. Woody is saved when Andy takes him along on his family’s trip to dinner. While his mom is filling up the tank who should show up? A very angry Buzz seeking revenge. Buzz survived the fall and snuck into the car. As the two fight, Andy and his mom leave for the resturant. Woody hatches a plan to get them there as well,  but they are unfortunately picked up by Andy’s next door neighbor Sid, a sadistic toy torturer. During this time period Buzz has a breakdown as he realizes that he is not a real spaceman, but just a toy. Now it is up to Woody to pull Buzz together and for the two of them to figure out a way to get back to Andy before he moves and is gone forever.

Favorite Sheep Moment: Mistletoe

This scene occurs at the end of the film. It takes place the Christmas after Woody and Buzz have defeated Sid, found their way back to Andy, and settled in the new house. The toys are worried about what new things Andy will be getting and whether or not they will be replaced. They are setting up a communications center to hear everything going on downstairs when the china Bo Peep figurine hooks Woody and pulls him under the mistletoe her sheep have so conveniently set up. It’s a cute scene with Woody and Bo; and finally shows that Bo Peep’s sheep can do more than run away.

This is the only clip I could find and it is poor quality (sorry!). Start it at about 8 mins and you’ll be good to go.

For more on Toy Story, go to They’re Alive!

For more Woody and Buzz Lightyear, go to The Boys Are Back in Town

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Aladdin

6) Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin is a retelling of a chinese tale in Arabian Nights or A Thousand and One Nights, tales that Scheherazade told her husband to keep herself alive each night, (for more on that go here). Disney disneyfied it into being much happier and brighter, like they do with everything.

In the disney story, Aladdin is an orphaned boy living with his monkey friend, Abu. The two are street rats, scrounging about for food and hiding from the castle guards. Every night Aladdin goes home and dreams of being rich and living in the palace, never worrying about any thing. Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is in the palace and has to marry by her sixteenth birthday. She hates every prince that has called on her as she feels they all are after her fortune. Also in the palace lurks Jafar, the evil vizier, who wants to take the throne for himself. He is trying to get inside the fabled Cave of Wonders to get a lamp, but only a pure-hearted, diamond in the rough can enter. These three stories intersect when Jasmine sneaks out of the palace, only to be helped by Aladdin when she gets into trouble. The two run from guards and are caught, Jasmine revealing herself and going home, while Aladdin is sent to the dungeon. Jafar disguises himself and frees Aladdin, convinced he is the perfect person to enter the cave. Aladdin is and does, but Abu brings the whole place toppling down when he tries to take something he is not supposed to touch. Aladdin gets stuck inside the Cave, but there he finds the Genie of the lamp and the adventure to capture the heart of the princess is on.

Fav Sheep Moment: Well, I Feel Sheepish

It’s just a one bit line and an itty-bitty scene but this always used to make me laugh. In this scene Aladdin has tricked the Genie into getting him out of the cave without actually wishing for it. He instead insulted the genie and told him he could never get all three of ’em out, which of course causes the Genie to do exactly that as he has to prove he can. When he realizes what he has done he turns into a sheep and says “Well, I feel sheepish.” Cute and funny. You can clearly see how much I enjoyed it as I used it for the title of the post.

For more on Aladdin, go to Diamond in the Rough

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VoyageoftheDawnTreaderPrinceCaspian

5) The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989)

Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader are two of my absolute favorite books in The Chronicles of Narnia series. I enjoyed the character of Prince Caspian, along with the battles and adventures in these books.

LiteraryAdventures

So out of the 1980s miniseries, Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorites. I wouldn’t even watch the films that came out in the 2000s as the first and second one were absolutely horrible (I never saw the third as I just couldn’t stomach any more). Anyways, in this book and film Prince Caspian has grown to be a young man and is setting sail to the lone islands that not only have failed to pay tribute to Narnia since his father died, but hold ten lords who were loyal to his father, but banished by his evil uncle. As he is setting sail; Lucy and Edmond are visiting their horrid relative, cousin Eustace, in England. When they are looking at a painting of a boat all three are called into Narnia, in the exact spot that Prince Caspian is sailing. They go on grand adventures as the islands hold much more than they bargained for. They encounter slavery, nightmares coming true, a midas touch that backfired, dragons, invisible thumping creatures, a spell that has cursed an island, Aslan’s country and much more.

Favorite sheep moment: Lamb or Lion

This moment occurs both in the book and miniseries. The Dawn Treader has sailed to the farthest edge of the world, sending Reepicheep into Aslan’s country (heaven) and dropping off Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace. The three end up on land and find a lamb. As they speak to the lamb, questioning it whether they will be able to find the way to Aslan’s country, he tells them they must enter from their own world and transforms into a Lion. I always thought that scene was so cool as a child.

This was the only clip I could find. Start at the 5:30 mark.

For more on The Chronicles of Narnia, go to Simply Fantastic

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Legend1985

4) Legend (1985)

Legend is a fantasy film directed by Ridley Scott and starring a very young, handsome, Tom Cruise. The Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) is imprisoned in the shadows, but wishes to break free. He sends his minions to destroy the unicorns, as their horns are the safeguards of light and keep him locked away. Meanwhile, Princess Lili has grown bored with royal life and has sneaked out once again into the forest. There she meets up with her friend Jack (Tom Cruise), a young man who has been raised by the forest and speaks the languages of the animals. Jack has a surprise that day for Princess Lili, as he calls the unicorns for her to see. Princess Lili, used to getting her own way all the time, refuses to listen to Jack’s warnings of only looking at them and approaches the unicorns, distracting them, and causing the stallion to be attacked and poisoned by Darkness’ minions. Princess Lili makes light of the situation, and tells Jack that the man who finds her ring will win her hand in marriage. She then tosses it into a stream, with Jack quickly diving after it. With one of the unicorns killed and horn cut off, things begin changing in the forest. All becomes cold and winter, with the stream Jack jumped into freezing over. Princess Lili becomes distraught, and runs off hiding in a cabin. She is so ashamed of what she has done that she sets out to protect the mare, getting captured by Darkness. In his castle Darkness tries to seduce Princess Lili into becoming his queen. Meanwhile, Jack has survived the water and teams up with elves and dwarves on a quest to save the unicorns, the forest, and Princess Lili.

Fav Sheep Moment: Darkness Emerging from the Mirror

This is the first time we are introduced to the full form of Lord Darkness, as previously we had only heard his voice. This scene is amazing as you are so creeped out and fascinated by this giant red arm coming out of a mirror, with fire blazing all around. As I was watching it, I didn’t know what to expect or guess. Then you have this giant ram hoof come down and finally the giant form and face of darkness revealed.

For more on Tim Curry, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more on Tom Cruise, go to Rock You Like a Hurricane

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Kid in Aladdin's palace

3) Kid in Aladdin’s Palace (1997)

A Kid in Aladdin’s Palace  is the sequel to the Disney film, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, (modern retelling of A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain), in which a young boy named Calvin is transported back to the time of King Arthur by the wizard Merlin in order to save the day. In A Kid in Aladdin’s Palace, Calvin in older and concerned with more things these days. Such as how to get the hottest girl in school to go out with him, and how to deal with Elliot the bully. While cleaning some old pots his boss bought at an auction, he awakens a genie. The genie has been sitting in the lamp for thousands of years, awaiting the time he would be woken by the deliverer. You see Aladdin has married Jasmine and they rule the kingdom, alongside their daughter Sheherazade. Aladdin’s evil brother, Luxor, has been trying to steal the throne. In order to save the kingdom, yet still receive help, Aladdin put the lamp back in the cave of wonders, split the key, and hid them far away from each other. He left clues for a deliverer to save them all. Luxor has poisoned Aladdin leaving him nothing more than a vegetable and in dire need of the genie to cure him. Calvin doesn’t want to go back, but finds himself once again having to save a kingdom. He teams up with Ali Baba and the three thieves (his younger brothers), along with Princess Sheherazade. Calvin uses his items and know-how of the future to try to save the day, but he must act quickly as Luxor is growing more powerful every day, is trying to pressure Jasmine into marrying him, and is planning on killing Sheherazade, the only heir.

Favorite sheep moment: Just Part of the Flock

This scene takes place when Calvin and Ali Baba are running from the guards. In order to throw them off the trail, they through some wool on their backs and jump into a group of sheep, blending in with the animals. I know it’s an old joke, but I still find this moment absolutely hilarious.

Once again clip is of a poorer quality and covering more than I wish. Just start at 6:50 and you will be fine.

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Last Battle C.S.Lewis

2) The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

This is the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In this book hundreds of years have passed, and almost all have forgotten of the four children who defeated the White Witch, Prince Caspian, and Prince Rilian. Now the current king, King Tirian, is told that the time of peace is at an end. In the country, an ape finds a lion skin and decides to dress up a donkey named Puzzle in it. He starts telling people that it is Aslan, and as the current animals and people haven’t seen him, they believe it. The ape starts to use his newly gained power to turn the animals into slaves. He even goes as far as selling them to the evil Calormenes. King Tirian and his friend the unicorn Jewel, are captured and bound. There they hear awful lies that Aslan is the same as the Calormenian god Tash. He calls to Aslan for help, and is answered by Eustace and Jill Pole using the rings from The Magician’s Nephew. They team up to save Narnia, in it’s final battle.

Favorite sheep moment: You Can’t Pull the Wool Over My Eyes

While the Ape is telling everyone what life will be like, what “Aslan” wants (in reality Puzzle is stuck in a shed, being held against his will), and that Tash and Aslan are the same thing. All the animals are just agreeing with whatever is being said until one little lamb speaks up against him.

“What have we to do with the Calormenes? We belong to Aslan. They belong to Tash. They have a god called Tash. They say he has four arms and the head of a vulture. They kill Men on his altar. I don’t believe there’s any such person as Tash. But if there was, how could Aslan be friends with him?”

The Ape yells at the Lamb and he later disappears as he is “taken care of”, but he was brave to speak his mind and stand up for what he believed in.

Amy poelherRealHeroRightThing boy meets world

For more by C.S. Lewis, go to The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

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Hoodwinked

1) Hoodwinked (2005)

Hoodwinked  is a twist on the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” fairy tale. The story begins with the conclusion of the tale: wolf in the bed dressed as a woman; Red screaming her head off; Granny tied up in the closet; the huntsman running in swinging an axe; etc. The police come in being lead by Chief Fuzzy Wuzzy Bear who believes one of them is the Goody Bandit who is stealing recipes and closing down shops in the forests. He later calls in a Detective Nicky Flippers (a parody of Nick Charles) to help him solve the case. We see that no one is as they seems as Red wants to leave the forest and travel the world, Granny an extreme sports enthusists, the wold an undercover reporter, and the Hunstman an actor. As each tells their story, they all intersect and reveal the truth of what actually happened.

Favorite sheep moment: Have to Check My Source

Wolf W. Wolf is an undercover reporter and wants to crack this “Goody Bandit” case wide open. He goes to check his source, which happens to be a sheep. In order to get the goods, he dresses up as a sheep. This scene is hilarious as the interaction between the straight circuit wolf and Jersey shore sheep are just perfect.

Unfortunately I can’t find the clip, so I’ll just post a pic. But trust me watch the film and enjoy.

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For more Hoodwinked!, go to I Wanna Get Off This Ride

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2015

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For more on Disney, go to Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

For more fairy tales, go to Are You the Dread Pirate Roberts?