The Chain of Inspiration

Chains are an interesting symbol. Because they are forged of several small links, they can represent unity and teamwork. Because they are linear, they can suggest order, whether that be social (The Great Chain of Being) or emotional (The Chain of Screaming).

So that’s why I think there’s also a Chain of Inspiration.

Someone does something. That something inspires someone to do something else. And that inspires someone else, and so on.

The Chain of Inspiration is why, I think, we want to read what are deemed “classics”. It’s why, when we find out that a person we admire admires, we seek to admire it as well. Because no one has a limit on the inspiration they can absorb. They hope to find something that their hero found, and become a hero themselves.

The Chain of Inspiration is why, seven years ago, I bought Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.

Gone with the wind

This monster of a book is 1000+ pages long, nearly as thick as it is wide. It tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara, a young, stubborn woman in the South during the American Civil War.

I picked it up because I had just finished reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, a book I love dearly. It features two literary works, both of which are praised by the book’s protagonist, Ponyboy Curtis: Robert Frost’s “Nothing gold Can Stay” and Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. 

Frost’s poem was easy to read and get access to. Mitchell’s novel is a little more of a challenge. To begin with, my first attempt ended after the third chapter.

The Outsiders set up Gone With The Wind to be about the trials of the American Civil War, and so I imagined something like Catch-22. Instead it’s more like Downton Abbey…if Lady Mary stayed a pain in the ass.

Then again, I’ve only ever made a dent in this book…until now.

This summer I plan on working my way through this book, however painfully slowly it may be. Like I said, it’s a similar set up to Downton Abbey, a show I actually enjoyed, so I think at some level, I’ll find a way to enjoy it.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll find some inspiration in it myself.


2 thoughts on “The Chain of Inspiration”

  1. Aah! Gone with the wind… I friend of mine was reading it when we were 14.

    I just looked at the book and I thought “Whoa! Now THAT is a challenge”

    But she was already halfway through when I saw so she has probably finished it now.

    I want to read it too. Except I don’t have it, and I sure as hell won’t read it as an ebook.

    Good luck with it!
    Do write a post about it when you finish.

    P.S. I really liked the Chain of inspiration thing you wrote. Really amazing and thought provoking.


    1. Definitely going to write posts on it…probably as I read it, so look out for those.

      Actually, don’t, if you want to avoid spoilers.

      And I’m glad you liked the chain of inspiration thing. I don’t think I conveyed it properly, but I wrote it on the fly so…yeah. 🙂


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