Gone with the Wind

882 WordsJul 30, 20104 Pages
Overview • Setting (time): 1861–early 1870s. • Setting (place): Atlanta; Tara, the O’Hara plantation in northern Georgia. • Major conflict: Scarlett struggles to find love, trying out Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler, while simultaneously trying to adjust to the changing face of the South. • Rising action: Scarlett confesses her love to Ashley; Scarlett marries Rhett; Scarlett and Ashley embrace. • Climax: Bonnie dies while horseback riding, breaking the tie that binds Rhett and Scarlett. • Falling action: Scarlett falls down the stairs and miscarries; Rhett tells Melanie of his love for Scarlett; Melanie dies; Scarlett realizes that she loves Rhett, not Ashley; Rhett abandons Scarlett. Characters: Scarlett O’Hara Determination…show more content…
Motifs Female Intelligence and Capability Despite the severe gender inequality of their time, women in Gone with the Wind show strength and intelligence that equals or bests the strength and intelligence of men. Scarlett is cunning, and manipulates men with ease. She runs Tara when her father falls ill, and eventually realizes that she has a better head for business than most men. She becomes a very successful mill owner, running every aspect of the business and putting her weak, incompetent husband to shame. Melanie, although she is a subdued figure, exhibits increasing strength as the novel progresses, and she eventually emerges as the novel’s strongest female character. She provides much of Scarlett’s strength, although Scarlett realizes this only at the end of the novel. Melanie also protects Ashley from the world he cannot face. Despite her humble means, she single-handedly facilitates the restoration of Atlanta society. Old Miss Fontaine and Ellen also demonstrate strength and intelligence. Both women act as head of the family, and the narrator describes Ellen as the true mind and strength behind Tara. Prostitution Prostitution threatens and embarrasses the characters, but it also intrigues them. Scarlett first sees a prostitute in Atlanta and is instantly fascinated. The woman she sees, Belle Watling, is an exaggerated version of Scarlett, which perhaps explains Scarlett’s interest in her. Both women ignore social mandates,

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