The Theme of Nationalism in "Pan Tadeusz" and "Gone with the Wind"

Decent Essays

Nationalism is defined as "loyalty and devotion to a nation; a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups" in the Merriam Webster's Dictionary. This is a reoccurring theme in both Pan Tadeusz and Gone With the Wind. Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz is an epic poem that takes place in Poland in the years of 1811 and 1812 while Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is set in the American south between 1861 and 1871. Through the development of characters and their lifestyles and cultures the theme of nationalism is clearly revealed in both works. Similarities emerge in the way the …show more content…

The men, or the ones who can afford to, never work. They ride their horses, drink alcohol, and socialize (usually about politics) with the other wealthy men all day long. These more affluent men have slaves in the south, and peasants in Poland to take care of the laboring. The moment the slaves disappear in Gone With the Wind the economy is brought to an all time low, the same is to be true in Pan Tadeusz. At the conclusion of the novel it is foreshadowed that the downfall of their social order and economy is coming due to Napoleon's freeing of the peasantry. Foreshadowing of the defeats to take place are present at social gatherings in both books. The guests pronounce praise and assurance of victory, but a voice of reason is present. The foreshadowing of the upcoming defeat is shown through the music in book XII in Pan Tadeusz. Jankiel plays music for Sophia on the dulcimer. His song tells of the history of Poland and most importantly brings forth feelings of war and despair in the crowd that is listening.

And ever louder grew the music's roar,

And you could hear the tramp of marching, war,

Attack, a storm, the boom of guns, the moans,

Of children and weeping mother's groans.

So splendidly the master's art resembled,

The horror of a storm, the women trembled, (Mickiewicz 566)

This foreshadowing is present in Gone With the Wind also with Ashley's speech at the barbeque at Twelve Oaks;


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