In spite of the horrifying racism that is woven throughout this book's point of view, I can't help but love this story. The book's main protagonists, Scarlett and Rhett, are both selfish, manipulative, and cruel, but I can't help but cheer them on, groan at their mistakes, and wish for them to wake up and become the better people they have the potential to be. I wanted a happily ever after for them all. Of course nobody gets a happily ever after in this book, not even the only truly likeable character, Melanie. Of course even Melanie's character has to be considered with the perspective of time and changing social mores. I can't help but cringe at the thought that even in the 1930's when this book was written, a compassionate and selfless woman of high moral character would consider the murder of a cheating wife to be justifiable homicide. I suppose that's why I've enjoyed this story every time I've read it. Each character is finely drawn, with their flaws and strengths on full display, and they always behave according to character. Yet your perception of each changes over the course of the book as they themselves learn and grow through their experiences during war, reconstruction, and with one another.