A famous man has once said that women hold half the sky. A wise writer has said that half the man is a woman. In fact, women are just like the deep-hidden treasure which has not been explored completely. It is not deniable that with the economic globalization, knowledge economy and China”s entry into the WTO, women have stepped into a bigger arena. Women have a better sense of interpersonal relationship, family and business success. They have the desire to be admitted by the society. But all these good wishes are not easy to accomplish. This paper gives some suggestions to women hoping to get success in career, family and interpersonal relationship through the analysis of the main characters Scarlet and Melanie in the famous masterpiece Gone with the Wind. In terms of success in career, women can learn from Scarlet and cultivate the ability of innovation, self-confidence and self-trust. As for success in family life, women can learn Melanie”s trust, respect and love. To succeed in interpersonal relationship, women can follow Scarlet to use beauty properly to attract others, and follow Melanie to use her internal beauty to win others” respect and trust.
ideal woman; career; family life; interpersonal relationship.
Shakespeare, a famous playwright, has said that the name of the women was frailty. For a long time, women were slaves of men. Women were vulnerable and could not protect themselves, nor could they have their own fate in hand. What the women could do was just to obey men”s order. (Yun Zhou, 3)
But as time goes by, with the development of society, women”s stature has improved a lot. Women in 21st century are not what they were centuries ago. Modern women have changed a lot and have their unique characters and features.
With the development of advanced science and technology, economic globalization and the arrival of knowledge era, the society today is no longer dominated by men. Women have been the masters of the other half of the sky. Women can control their own fate and they have the right to decide what to do or what not to do .Men and women are equal.(Xin Ran, 4)
Ⅰ. Present Social Situation of Women
Some novels and fictions create the images of women who are successful in career and gain respect from people. But these images are just the good wishes of the writers. The reason why these writers create such heroines is partly that in real life under that background, women can not easily succeed either in family life, career or interpersonal relationship.
An ideal woman is one who should at least be successful in career, family and interpersonal relationship. But do not be scared of the three goals which seem difficult to achieve. To be an ideal woman, one can get some inspiration or suggestions from Scarlet and Melanie, the two heroines in Gone with the Wind.
Ⅱ. Suggestions on How to Achieve Success in Business for a Woman
A. Features and Advantages of Scarlet
Today”s society is full of serious competitions. The pressure, as well as the perplexing social situation makes people worried. Women easily get lost or lose heart facing the failure or obstacles or difficulties. Then what can women do or what measures can women take to overcome the difficulties and finally achieve success in business? Let”s have a look at Scarlet in Gone with the Wind.
In Scarlet”s era, it was men”s world, and women accepted doctrines such as the beliefs that the men owned the property, while women manage it. Men took the credit for the management, and women praised his cleverness. Men roared like a bull when a splinter was in his finger, and the women muffled the moans of childbirth, least she disturbed him. Men were usually drunk and spoke angrily to women, while women were usually kind, gracious and forgiving.
Born in such a society, Scarlet was a rebellious girl. At that time all men felt that
the wife should be guided by her husband”s superior knowledge, accept his opinions fully and have none of her own. But Scarlet intended to run the mill herself, which was a big shock to her husband as well as other men and women in that county. In fact seldom had man heard of women in business anywhere if women were so unfortunate as to be compelled to make a little money to assist their families in these hard times of war. If women really had no choice but to work and earn money, they would just do baking or paint china or do some sewing, keep boarders or teach or give music lesson and such like. Other women made money but they kept themselves at home while they did it as a woman should. But people could not accept woman who left the protection of her home and ventured out into the rough world of men, competing with them in business, rubbing shoulders with them, being exposed to insult and gossip…especially when Scarlet was not forced to do it, when she had a husband amply able to provide food clothes for her.
Scarlet always felt that women had hardness and endurance unknown to men, despite that she was taught in childhood that women were frail, tender, sensitive creatures. She was a woman who could handle business as well or even better than men. Even though she had been brought up to believe that a woman alone could accomplish nothing, yet she had managed the plantation without man” help. She believed that women could manage everything in the world without men” help—except having babies. With the idea that she was as capable as a man came a sudden rush of pride and violent longing to prove it, to make money for herself as men did. Money could be her own and she could handle it at her own will.
B. What to Learn from Scarlet
From the above, it is clear that women in today”s society should learn from Scarlet to have innovation, confidence and self-trust.
Nowadays, innovation plays an initial part in a person” success of business. Innovation is the essence of the high-tech society. People who like reading newspapers, surfing the Internet or watching TV are familiar with the reports about
people who become rich overnight. Some one has once said that at the beginning there is no way in the world, but the roads are formed when there are more and more people walking on it. However when too many people walk on the same road, the road disappears. This saying is quite philosophical. Then how to find a new road when there is no way for us to walk? The answer is “to be innovative”!
Today”s society is full of serious competitions, which is an important motivation to the whole society” improvement and development. Competition means that you have to struggle against others maybe just for a job, a promotion or money or a good living. People often think it difficult to find a good job, not to say a stable job. Sometimes women job-hunters in reality are looked down upon or discriminated by the interviewers and employers. So how can women have their own field in this world?
Women should believe that men are not the only persons who can do the job; women can also do it and even do it better than men. Scarlet could run the mill which was considered as men”s work. Women in today” society can also do such kind of work which is traditionally regarded as only men”s work.
To be innovative, women should collect the current information about what is a promising job. Knowledge is necessary. Nowadays the society is one with information. Women should read magazines, newspapers or spend enough time in searching information through Internet. It will be easier for you to succeed if you gain information before others. So innovation is the key for women” success.
2. Confidence and Self-trust
Besides innovation, women should also have confidence and self-trust.
“Self-trust is the first secret of success”, said Emerson. It is known that one”s life couldn”t go smoothly without difficulty. Difficulties or frustration are the obstacles on the road to success. Now that we can not avoid these terrible factors, why not be confident to overcome them. Scarlet always said “tomorrow is another day”. Why can not the women say that “Today I meet and fight against the difficulties, tomorrow I will meet the success?” There is a saying that confidence is half the success. Be confident means that you should also be optimistic. Confident and optimistic people
can bravely face the terrible difficulties. When you have thought out a dream or plan you should have the confidence to realize it. Don”t just think every day. Women may dream that one day they will be a rich, elegant lady with fashionable dresses and expensive jewelries. But they seldom put their heart into making them come true. Because they do not believe themselves. Why can Scarlet do everything she dreams of? Because she is a confident woman. Charles Chaplin said “you have to believe in yourself. That is the secret of success”. Nothing in the world is too difficultif you put your heart into it.
Ⅲ. Suggestions on How to Achieve Success in Family for a Woman
A. Features and Advantages of Melanie in Gone with the Wind
Melanie was an impressive character in Gone with the Wind. She was a kind, soft, lovely woman who was devoted to her husband and family. Melanie was not a beautiful woman, but she was very brave even though she was thin as a rail and delicate enough to be blown away by the wind. But even without a charming appearance she won her husband”s heart. Melanie considered her husband and child as all she had. She was not suitable to give birth to a child and the process of giving birth to the first child was an unforgettable terrible experience in her life. It was a mother”s nature that made her so bravely to endure the hardness. After giving birth to the first child the doctor told Melanie that she would better not be pregnant again or she might be in danger. Regardless of the advice and her feeble health, she was still so excited and willing to have another baby for her husband. But she finally died of miscarriage.
Melanie was a good wife who knew how to build a harmonious family. Even when Melanie knew that Scarlet loved her husband she still did not take some measures to stop her husband from getting along with Scarlet. Because she trusted her husband. When people gossiped that her husband had relationship with Scarlet, she was not angry as other women did. At a party during which all the people gathered together intending to see the fight between the two women, Scarlet and her husband were saved by Melanie”s kindness , love and outspoken trust which had been in her
voice as she crossed and face the curious, malicious covertly hostile crowd. How neatly Melanie had scotched the scandal, keeping Scarlet at her side all through the dreadful evening! People were somewhat bewildered, but they were polite.
B. What to Learn from Melanie
Nowadays, family life is still important for women. But even women years ago already spent most of their time on the family, there were still endless problems encountering them. So how can people have a harmonious and happy family? Maybe you can learn something from Melanie, the other heroin in Gone with the Wind.
The best advantage we can learn from Melanie is: trust your spouse. Women in today” society suffer from divorce more frequently. The divorce rate is higher and higher than ever before. One factor accounts for the high divorce rate is distrust between the wives and husbands. Some women complain that their husbands do not come back home punctually after work. For example, if the husbands have not been back after the work time, the wives may wonder what the husbands are doing. Why do they have so many appointments of work? Are they really working over time? Are they having an informal relationship with other female workmates? Will they go dance or have dinner or date other beautiful, young, charming ladies? And some time when husbands forget their birthday, wedding anniversary, Valentine”s day or other important festivals which the wives regard highly, the wives may suspect whether they do not love them any more, whether they are not so attractive to them or for some other reasons. With such suspects in mind, the wives can not wait calmly. They may even employ detectives to trace husbands” life. When the husbands find what the wives do behind them, they may feel uncomfortable to stay with them. Then a previous happy family may become a battle field. So husbands and wives should trust each other.
Respect is also important for a happy family life. Carnegie, a famous American writer, has written a famous book titled “the weakness of the human being”, in which
he says that if you want to have a happy family you should never try to change your partner”s hobbits, ideas ,etc. Every person has his own characters and features. Being a spouse does not mean that husband should reshape his own personalities or belief or other routine according to the requirements of the wife. If the husband can accept wife” suggestions, that is ok. But if the husband really will not change, women should remember never to force the husband to do it. Even though you two are couple now, respect is also needed between you. Respect can make the partner have their own secret or make the other part comfortable.
Women should not only respect husbands but also the children. In today”s society there are some cases that the mother or the father read the child”s private letters or diaries, which is against the law. Every person has his own secret which he does not want to be found by others including the parents. Even though the parents say that they do this because they love children and care about their growth and do not want them to get into the trouble. But children also have something belonging to their own. So respect is also important to the happiness of a harmonious family.
Besides trust and respect, love of course is the essence of a family. Some people say that marriage is the grave of love. Maybe it is partly because that after people getting married the sweet love which make lovers attractive to each other disappear slowly. A family without love is like a building without foundation and framework, then the building of family gets ruined day by day until all the whole building falls into pieces and nothing remains.People say “love is stronger than death.” Melanie has the energy to take the danger of miscarriage and death, which is because she has a great love for her husband and child. Love is powerful, which can make a poor family happy. Even though some families are not so rich as others, they are still harmonious ones admired by the rich ones, for what the rich families lack is just what the poorer family has—love, which can not be brought by money, or be measured by money. Love is valuable. Love is the essence of the family and women should always be full of love which makes her attractive and mercy and favorable to others.
Ⅳ. Suggestions on How to Achieve Success in Interpersonal Relationship for a Woman
Interpersonal relationship is an initial part of life. Every one is part or unit of this integrated society. Nobody can live in the society without communication with others. So interpersonal relationship is what women should care about. In terms of interpersonal relationship, Scarlet and Melanie are of two different styles. Both set a good example to a woman who intends to achieve success in this field.
A. to Learn from Scarlet and Use One”s Beauty Properly to Attract Others
Scarlet in Gone with the Wind attracted almost every man she met. Just like in the first paragraph of Gone with the Wind:
Scarlet O”Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins are. In her face were two sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting face, painted of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and slightly titled at the ends. Above them, her thick black brows slanted upwards…She has the smallest waist in three counties. (Margaret, 3)
Scarlet knew the arts and graces of being attractive to man. She knew how to smile so that her dimples leaped; how to walk pigeon-toed so that her wide hoop skirts swayed entrancingly ; how to look up into a man”s face and then rope her eyes and bat the lids rapidly so that she seemed a kind girl with gentle emotion. Most of all she learned how to conceal from men a sharp intelligence beneath a face as sweet and bland as a baby”s. Scarlet”s mother taught her all that a gentlewoman should know, but she learned only the outward signs of gentility. The inner grace from which these signs should spring she now learned, nor did she see any reason for learning it. Appearance was enough, for the appearance of ladyhood had won her popularity and that was all she wanted. She had received proposals from nearly all the young men in the neighborhood and many other places. Scarlet knew which dress would best set off her charms and make her most irresistible to men.
In some degree we can say that beautiful appearance accounts her success in interpersonal relationship. Women in 21st century should also learn something from Scarlet to pay enough attention to the appearance. Even though some people say that “don”t judge a person by appearance”. It can not be denied that women with beautiful appearance are more likely to attract men and leave a deep impression. Loving beauty is people”s nature. A research shows that even a baby unable to speak will smile at the beautiful persons instead of the ones who are ugly. So interesting and funny! But that is the fact.
Before attending a party or dance hall, one important and necessary thing women can not neglect is to make themselves up. For example, before going out to an appointment with your costumers or friends especially male friends, women should chose a suitable dress or suit and with a suitable making up. You can use a lipstick to have charming lips. But remember not to have a heavy making up. Making up lightly is also a sign of respect for others. Nowadays in interviews some employers say that during the job interview, the company is more willing to choose those who make up suitably. They say that girls” making up is the social etiquette. It does not mean that the employers look down upon the girls who do not make up just because whether a girl makes up reflects her social knowledge and culture of sense.
A good saying is that there are no ugly women in the world, while there are just lazy women. A woman having some disadvantages in appearance can take some measures to make them up. If there is acne or freckle on your face, you can apply some powder to keep them hidden. If the skin of your face is a little dark, you can apply some white powder to have a comfortable appearance. People can not deny that a good appearance is more impressive and charming, attractive than a plain one. People themselves also frequently have such experience that people are more likely to talk with strangers who are beautiful or handsome.
Besides beautiful appearance, unique character is also important for us to learn from Scarlet. Scarlet could express bravely her passion to her beloved man, regardless of others” criticism. She made a beautiful dress out of the old curtain during the war time. She could go down to work in the cotton filed; she could kill the enemy herself
with a tinny gun left by her father. She could dance in the hall when she was still a widow. So many rebellious things she had done. But it was her personalities which were considered to be rebellious at that time that attracted men”s eyes. She was always the spotlight.
Being unique makes others discover your personalities, which make you attractive to them. The reason why there are differences among people is the unique features. And of course women themselves should cherish and enjoy their features. Some women may hold that the reason why it is hard to get along with others is that they do not receive enough education. Should women follow strictly the tradition to do everything? The answer is “no”. It is not a problem for the people to build interpersonal relationship with others. Young women are just in the time during which they are likely to show their own personality. So if you want to be loved by others you should love yourselves and your personalities. And at the same time you should also accept other”s character. Being unique is necessary for women.
B. to Learn from Melanie and Use One”s Internal Beauty to Win Others” Respect and Trust
Scarlet is beautiful but Melanie is not. Melanie is just a common girl who does not have the charming appearance. But she is also as attractive as Scarlet.
The description of Melanie”s appearance is as follows.
Melanie was a tiny, frailly built girl, who gave the appearance of a child masquerading in her mother”s enormous hoop skirts-an illusion that was height-ended by the sky, almost frightened look in her two large brown eyes. She had a cloud of curly dark hair which was so stemly represented beneath its net that no ragant tendrils escaped, and this dark mass, with its long widow”s speck, accentuated the heart shape her face, too wide across the check-bones, too pointed at the chin. It was a sweet, timid face but a plain face, and she had no feminine tricks of allure to make observers forget its plainness. She looked-and was –as simple as earth, as good as bread, as transparent as spring water. But for all her plainness of feature and smallness of stature, there was a sedate dignity about her movement that was oddly touching and
far older than her seventeen years. (Margaret, 121)
Melanie was like her aunt in many ways. She had her shyness, her sudden blushes, her modesty, but she did have common sense. Melanie had the face of a sheltered child who had never know anything but simplicity and kindness, truth and love, a child who had never looked upon harshness or evil and would not recognize them if she saw them. Because she had always been happy, she wanted every one around her to be happy, or at least, pleased with themselves. To this end, she always saw the best in everyone and remarkable kindly upon it. There was no servant so stupid that she did not find some redeeming trait of loyalty and kind heartedness, no girl so ugly and disagreeable that she could not discover grace of form or nobility of character in her, and no man so worthless or so boring that she did not view him in the light of his possibilities rather than his actualities.
Because of these qualities that came sincerely and spontaneously from a generous heart, everyone flocked about her. She had more girl friends than anyone in town and more men friends too, though she had few beaux, for she lacked the willfulness and selfishness that go far towards trapping men”s hearts.
From the above we can know that Melanie was really not a beautiful person with charming appearance. What made her appreciated by others was her internal beauty: smile, sincerity, and kindness.
Smile has an unconscious charm to people in interpersonal relationship. People will not refuse a person who smiles. Smile plays an important role in interpersonal relationship, which can create miracle in life. Shakespeare, a famous English play writer, said that he would prefer to be made happy by a fool rather than to be made sad by a clever person. Every person wants to have a happy life. If women want to build a good interpersonal relationship, firstly, she should make other happy instead of sad or grieve. Smile can change person”s appearance; can make people feel at ease and comfortable and make people easy to get along with. People enjoy making friends with these who smile frequently. So in some degree smile is powerful. How can women keep smiling frequently? To smile you should have an optimistic psychology.
Nowadays most people are worried about the heavy burden and pressure from all aspects of life which prevent them smiling. But such situation can be changed. The good weapon to face these worries is smile. Smile can make people attractive which will short the distance between people.
Sincerity is also important if women intend to build harmonious and long interpersonal relationship with others. Sincerity is a kind of merit. In fact sincerity is also necessary for business. An insincere employee is perhaps able, by her cleverness, to convince her boss that she is the best in the world and indispensable to the institution. But as time goes by her boss and workmates will discover her disadvantage and evil spirit, then no one will like to employ her or work with her. Today”s whole society calls for sincerity and honesty. People like to make friends and keep touch with these who are sincere. What does friendship mean? People may consider sincerity as the quality to choose a friend. Honesty is the basis of all interpersonal relationship. These who are dishonest will not give people good impression. We love sincere people. We also love to be known as sincere people. Sincerity is generally understood to be truth in word and act. Only sincerity can make win other”s trust. Trust is a key to a good, long relationship.
Kindness can also bring about a good interpersonal relationship. Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Kindness is a special thing of love and love is the best language among people. Kindness means that you are warm-hearted. When people around you meet difficulties or when they feel sad you will offer to help them out of it. Warm-hearted people give others the feeling that they are easy to get along with.
Try to show a little kindness and just shine your light for others to see. Kindness can be shown everywhere: kindness is on your face; in your eyes; in your smile; in your warm greetings. For Chinese people, when we make friends with others, we first consider if he or she is kind or not. Because kindness is the basic virtue a person should have. If one is not kind, it means that he or she is evil, troublesome or odious.
The fundamental respecting principle is to show your kindness to others. Yes, show a little kindness, and you will overlook the blindness of narrow -minded people on the narrow -minded streets.
From what has been discussed the above a conclusion can be drawn that women have wakened from the long sleep. Today”s women, holding half the sky, are masters of their own fate, which bring them great desire to achieve what they dream of. An ideal woman should be successful in career, family life and interpersonal relationship, which is not easy to achieve. But women need not be scared by these difficulties on the way to success. Women can get some inspiration from Gone with the Wind. In terms of success in career, women can learn Scarlet”s innovation, confidence and self-trust. As for success in family life, women can follow Melanie to hold the trust, respect and love for their spouses. As to success in interpersonal relationship, women can learn from Scarlet and be a woman with beautiful appearance and unique character; learn Melanie”s internal beauty such as sincerity, kindness, and smile.
Women can do what men do and they can even do better than men. Women can achieve success in career, family life and interpersonal relationship at the same time. So women should bravely pursue what they hope for, and with all their efforts women will eventually succeed.
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