Posts Tagged ‘21st century’

1936 Margaret Mitchell’s Ashley Wilkes and 2009 Kevin M. Weeks’ Detective Marcus (Swoosh) Brown, the vast American Melting Pot

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

by Ann DeWitt

If you have not noticed by now, I am really enjoying documenting the comparative analysis of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind to Kevin M. Weeks’ The Street Life Series: Is It Rags or Riches? The entire concept of this 2010 Black History comparison was born from literary pundits stating that urban works are unequal in literary merit with the American Classics.  Here is some additional food for thought based on my research.

Margaret Mitchell raises another golden nugget hidden in the text of Gone With the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara’s family was Irish.  Scarlett fell in love with Ashley Wilkes who perhaps was English.  Southern tradition entailed Ashley marrying an English woman and not someone from another “blood line.”  Ashley chose to marry his cousin Melanie in order to preserve his (Ashley’s) future daughters’ English lineage.  If Ashley married Scarlett, Ashley’s daughters would have been Irish.  Do you get the picture?  Margaret Mitchell was explaining to the world that the 19th century southern roots of family lineage grew deeper than skin color. Bottom line, the world was becoming more and more of a melting pot; and Ashley was torn between his love for Scarlett and insuring that his future daughters maintained the same family lineage as his (Ashley’s) mother.

Fast forward to the 21st century, Kevin M. Weeks approaches the American Melting Pot from a multicultural relations perspective. From a broader American view, we must continue to find more efficient ways to inhabit this world together.  As an example, getting a message to someone across the globe no longer takes months, messaging due to social media is instant.  Kevin M. Weeks’ Marcus (Swoosh) Brown is one of the best detectives in Washington, D.C.  Though Detective Brown perhaps feels a bit of unrequited love from African American Detective Hanae Troop, Kevin M. Weeks focuses less on Swoosh’s interracial love interest for Hanae and more on their ability to work together at lightning speeds in solving murder cases. Detective Brown’s character symbolizes America’s advancement and the future collapse of stereotypes.  As a result of today’s vast American melting pot, Kevin M. Weeks’ literary work points out that the world’s focus is shifting from race more to culture and social class.

In summary, great authors do not spell out every single theme interwoven in their stories.  We as readers, historians and politicians must pause and reflect upon how the underlying messages provide a platform for timely and relevant discussions.  Within the words of all authors (regardless of race, culture, or social class), we find a path to better understanding and overstanding our collective selves.

Highlighting the good in humanity, Ann

:Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and Kevin M. Weeks' Is It Rags or Riches?::

:Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and Kevin M. Weeks' Is It Rags or Riches?::

Note: “Gone With the Wind” its character names and elements are trademarks of. Turner Entertainment Co. and the Stephens Mitchell Trusts. “The Street Life Series” is a trademark of Kevin M. Weeks.