My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—I finished "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, last night. It is a most interesting picture of the South during the war, but far more interesting to me in the Reconstruction Period. It is so easy to understand why the women of the South kept their bitterness towards their northern invaders. It was to them a sacred cause, and the attitude of the North was practically impossible for them to understand. Sometimes you hear people wonder today why the bitterness had persisted so long, but to me it seems only natural and this book should help to make it vividly clear even to those who haven't understood it before.

The character of Melanie and Ashley are very charming—people you would like to know, but Scarlett and Rhett Butler are the two strongest and most interesting people. Scarlett was selfish and ruthless to the end, but she did have gallantry, courage and determination. In her rather strange way, she did love two people in the course of her stormy existence, and paid in suffering for the fact that never for one moment was her love unselfish. She never understood either of the men she loved and so she lost them both, and was left baffled and bitter in her loneliness.

This has been a confusing day because nothing has remained exactly as it was arranged in the morning. But, after all the mechanics of living can somehow be adjusted, and I never cease to be grateful for the wonderful way in which everyone in the household adjusts to the changing situations. They accept with perfect calm that six people may spend the night with us, or may decide to leave at ten p.m., and if they wake up in the morning and find three perfectly unexpected people spent the night with us and are there for breakfast, nobody even looks surprised!

We had an amusing discussion at noon on the subject of cooperation. The older members of the family circle think that it is time for us all to study what Sweden has achieved along these lines and some of us even think it is fair to expect a few people to pay more than they need to pay for a given commodity in order that a greater number of people may receive that commodity at a lower price to all. The individualistic younger members of the family circle are not so interested in cooperation, and added to that they love baiting me, and having the fun of a heated argument!

People have streamed in and out all day long and my husband hasn't been out of the house, but we rode for a little while this afternoon and now we are all having a swim.

E.R.
TMsd 21 August 1936, AERP, FDRL