Gone with the Wind
Overview
The slaves depicted in Gone with the Wind are primarily loyal house servants, such as Mammy, Pork and Uncle Peter, and these slaves stay on with their masters even after the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 of 1863 sets them free. The field slaves, among them the foreman, Big Sam, leave the Tara plantation without any apparent hesitation.

James Stirling, a British writer who visited the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 in 1857, stated there is a distinction between slaves that are house servants and slaves that are field hands in his book, Letters from the Slave States:
In judging of the welfare of the slaves, it is necessary to distinguish the different conditions of slavery.
Quotations

With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.

[to Scarlett] You go into the arena alone. The lions are hungry for you.

As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!

Note: bolded portion is ranked 59 in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes|American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

Encyclopedia
The slaves depicted in Gone with the Wind are primarily loyal house servants, such as Mammy, Pork and Uncle Peter, and these slaves stay on with their masters even after the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 of 1863 sets them free. The field slaves, among them the foreman, Big Sam, leave the Tara plantation without any apparent hesitation.

James Stirling, a British writer who visited the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 in 1857, stated there is a distinction between slaves that are house servants and slaves that are field hands in his book, Letters from the Slave States:
In judging of the welfare of the slaves, it is necessary to distinguish the different conditions of slavery. The most important distinction, both as regards numbers and its influence on the well­being of the slave, is that between house-servants and farm or field-hands. The house-servant is comparatively well off.


A slave narrative
Slave narrative
The slave narrative is a literary form which grew out of the written accounts of enslaved Africans in Britain and its colonies, including the later United States, Canada and Caribbean nations...

 by William Wells Brown
William Wells Brown
William Wells Brown was a prominent African-American abolitionist lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian. Born into slavery in the Southern United States, Brown escaped to the North in 1834, where he worked for abolitionist causes and was a prolific writer...

 published in 1847 spoke of the disparity in conditions between the house servant and the field hand:
During the time that Mr. Cook was overseer, I was a house servant—a situation preferable to a field hand, as I was better fed, better clothed, and not obliged to rise at the ringing bell, but about an half hour after. I have often laid and heard the crack of the whip, and the screams of the slave.


Of the servants that stayed on at Tara, Scarlett thinks to herself, "There were qualities of loyalty and tirelessness and love in them that no strain could break, no money could buy."

Although the novel is over one thousand pages, Mammy never considers what her life might be like away from Tara. She recognizes her freedom to come and go as she pleases saying, "Ah is free, Miss Scarlett. You kain sen' me nowhar Ah doan wanter go," but Mammy remains duty-bound to "Miss Ellen's chile."

Eighteen years prior to the publication of Gone with the Wind, an article titled, "The Old Black Mammy," written in the Confederate Veteran
Confederate Veteran
The Confederate Veteran was a newsmagazine, published monthly from 1893-1932. It furnished Confederate veterans of the American Civil War and other readers with articles and pictures regarding that war. It remains a valuable historical resource, as the archives contain many thousands of names and...

 in 1918, discussed the romanticized view of the mammy character that had been passed on in literature of the South:
...for her faithfulness and devotion, she has been immortalized in the literature of the South; so the memory of her will never pass, but live on in the tales that are told of those "dear dead days beyond recall."


Micki McElya, in her book, Clinging to Mammy, suggests the myth of the faithful slave, in the figure of mammy, lingers because white Americans wish to live in a world where African Americans are not angry over the injustice of slavery.

The best-selling anti-slavery
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 novel from the 19th century is Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman....

, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom...

, published in 1852. Uncle Tom's Cabin is mentioned briefly in Gone with the Wind as being accepted by the Yankees as, "revelation second only to the Bible." The enduring interest of both Uncle Tom's Cabin and Gone with the Wind has resulted in lingering stereotype
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

s of 19th century African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 slaves. However, since its publication, Gone with the Wind has become a reference point for subsequent writers about the South, both black and white alike.

Southern belle

The southern belle
Southern belle
A southern belle is an archetype for a young woman of the American Old South's upper class....

 is an archetype
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

 for a young woman of the American old South upper class. The southern belle's attractiveness is not physical beauty, but rather lies in her charm. She is subject to the correct code of female behavior. The novel's heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, charming though not beautiful, is a southern belle.
For young Scarlett, the ideal southern belle is represented by her mother, Ellen O'Hara. In "A Study in Scarlett," published in The New Yorker, Claudia Roth Pierpont wrote:
The Southern belle was bred to conform to a subspecies of the nineteenth-century "lady"... For Scarlett, the ideal is embodied in her adored mother, the saintly Ellen, whose back is never seen to rest against the back of any chair on which she sits, whose broken spirit everywhere is mistaken for righteous calm...


However, Scarlett is not always willing to conform. Kathryn Lee Seidel, in her book, The Southern Belle in the American Novel, wrote:
...part of her does try to rebel against the restraints of a code of behavior that relentlessly attempts to mold her into a form to which she is not naturally suited.


Scarlett, the figure of a pampered southern belle, lives through an extreme reversal of fortune and wealth, and survives to rebuild Tara and her self-esteem. Scarlett's bad belle traits, her deceitfulness, shrewdness, manipulativeness, and superficiality, in contrast to Melanie's good belle traits, trust, self-sacrifice, and loyalty, enable Scarlett to survive in the post-war South, and pursue her main interest, making money.

Marriage was the goal of all southern belles, and all social and educational pursuits were directed towards it. Regardless of war and the loss of eligible men, young ladies were still subjected to the pressure to marry. By law and Southern social convention, household heads were adult, white propertied males, and all white women and all African Americans were thought to require protection and guidance because they lacked the capacity for reason and self-control.

During the Civil War, Southern women played a major role as volunteer nurses working in makeshift hospitals. Many were middle- and upper class women who had never worked for wages or seen the inside of a hospital. One such nurse was Ada W. Bacot, a young widow who had lost two children. Bacot came from a wealthy South Carolina plantation family that owned 87 slaves.

In the fall of 1862, Confederate laws were changed to permit the employment of women in hospitals as members of the Confederate Medical Department. Twenty-seven year-old nurse Kate Cumming from Mobile, Alabama, described the primitive hospital conditions in her journal:
They are in the hall, on the gallery, and crowded into very small rooms. The foul air from this mass of human beings at first made me giddy and sick, but I soon got over it. We have to walk, and when we give the men any thing kneel, in blood and water; but we think nothing of it at all.

Battles

The Civil War came to an end on April 26, 1865 when Confederate General Johnston
Joseph E. Johnston
Joseph Eggleston Johnston was a career U.S. Army officer, serving with distinction in the Mexican-American War and Seminole Wars, and was also one of the most senior general officers in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War...

 surrendered his armies in the Carolinas Campaign
Carolinas Campaign
The Carolinas Campaign was the final campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. In January 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman advanced north from Savannah, Georgia, through the Carolinas, with the intention of linking up with Union forces in Virginia. The defeat of ...

 to Union General Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War , for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched...

. The battles mentioned or depicted in Gone with the Wind are:
  • Battle of Fredericksburg
    Battle of Fredericksburg
    The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought December 11–15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia, between General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside...

    , December 11–15, 1862, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Confederate victory.

  • Streight's Raid
    Streight's Raid
    Streight's Raid took place from 19 April to 3 May, 1863 in northern Alabama. It was led by Colonel Abel D. Streight, who's goal was to destroy parts of the Western and Atlantic railroad, which was supplying the Confederate Army of Tennessee...

    , April 19–May 3, 1863, in northern Alabama. Union Colonel Streight and his men were captured by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest
    Nathan Bedford Forrest
    Nathan Bedford Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He is remembered both as a self-educated, innovative cavalry leader during the war and as a leading southern advocate in the postwar years...

    .

  • Battle of Chancellorsville
    Battle of Chancellorsville
    The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War, and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville Campaign. It was fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near the village of Chancellorsville. Two related battles were fought nearby on...

    , April 30–May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near the village of Chancellorsville, Confederate victory.
Ashley Wilkes is stationed on the Rapidan River
Rapidan River
The Rapidan River, flowing through north-central Virginia in the United States, is the largest tributary of the Rappahannock River. The two rivers converge just west of the city of Fredericksburg...

, Virginia, in the winter of 1863,later captured and sent to a Union prison camp, Rock Island
Rock Island Arsenal
The Rock Island Arsenal comprises , located on Arsenal Island, originally known as Rock Island, on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois. It lies within the state of Illinois. The island was originally established as a government site in 1816, with...

.

  • Siege of Vicksburg, May 18–July 4, 1863, Vicksburg, Mississippi, Union victory.

  • Battle of Gettysburg
    Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

    , July 1–3, 1863, fought in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Union victory. "They expected death. They did not expect defeat."

  • Battle of Chickamauga
    Battle of Chickamauga
    The Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign...

    , September 19–20, 1863, northwestern Georgia. The first fighting in Georgia and the most significant Union defeat.

  • Chattanooga Campaign
    Chattanooga Campaign
    The Chattanooga Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in October and November 1863, during the American Civil War. Following the defeat of Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Union Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Chickamauga in September, the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen...

    , November-December, 1863, Tennessee, Union victory. The city became the supply and logistics base for Sherman's 1864 Atlanta Campaign.

  • Atlanta Campaign
    Atlanta Campaign
    The Atlanta Campaign was a series of battles fought in the Western Theater of the American Civil War throughout northwest Georgia and the area around Atlanta during the summer of 1864. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman invaded Georgia from the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, beginning in May...

    , May–September 1864, northwest Georgia and the area around Atlanta:

Confederate General Johnston fights and retreats from Dalton
Battle of Rocky Face Ridge
The Battle of Rocky Face Ridge was fought May 7–13, 1864, in Whitfield County, Georgia, during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. The Union army was led by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and the Confederate army by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston...

 (May 7-13) to Resaca
Battle of Resaca
The Battle of Resaca was part of the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. The battle was waged in both Gordon and Whitfield counties, Georgia, from May 13 - 15, 1864. It ended inconclusively with the Confederate Army retreating. The engagement was fought between the Military Division of the...

 (May 13-15) to Kennesaw Mountain
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was fought on June 27, 1864, during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. It was the most significant frontal assault launched by Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman against the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Joseph E...

 (June 27). Union General Sherman suffers heavy losses to the entrenched Confederate army. Unable to pass through Kennesaw, Sherman swings his men around to the Chattahoochee River
Battle of Pace's Ferry
The Battle of Pace's Ferry was an engagement fought on July 5, 1864, near Pace's Ferry, Atlanta, Georgia, during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. Union troops of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard seized a key pontoon bridge over the Chattahoochee River, enabling Federal troops to continue...

 where the Confederate army is waiting on the opposite side of the river. Once again, General Sherman flanks the Confederate army, forcing Johnston to retreat to Peachtree Creek
Battle of Peachtree Creek
The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought in Georgia on July 20, 1864, as part of the Atlanta Campaign in the American Civil War. It was the first major attack by Lt. Gen. John B. Hood since taking command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. The attack was against Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's...

 (July 20), five miles northeast of Atlanta.

  • Battle of Atlanta
    Battle of Atlanta
    The Battle of Atlanta was a battle of the Atlanta Campaign fought during the American Civil War on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Continuing their summer campaign to seize the important rail and supply center of Atlanta, Union forces commanded by William T. Sherman overwhelmed...

    , July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta. The city would not fall until September 2, 1864. Heavy losses for Confederate General Hood
    John Bell Hood
    John Bell Hood was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Hood had a reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on recklessness...

    .

  • Battle of Ezra Church, July 28, 1864, Sherman's failed attack west of Atlanta where the railroad entered the city.

  • Battle of Utoy Creek
    Battle of Utoy Creek
    The Battle of Utoy Creek was fought August 4 –7, 1864, during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Union armies had partially encircled the city of Atlanta, Georgia, which was being held by Confederate forces under the command of General John Bell Hood...

    , August 5-7, 1864, Sherman's failed attempt to break the railroad line into Atlanta from the east, heavy Union losses.

  • Battle of Jonesborough
    Battle of Jonesborough
    -Further reading:...

    , August 31-September 1, 1864, Sherman successfully cut the railroad lines from the south into Atlanta. The city of Atlanta was abandoned by Hood and then occupied by Union troops for the rest of the war.

  • Savannah Campaign
    Sherman's March to the Sea
    Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted around Georgia from November 15, 1864 to December 21, 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War...

    , conducted around Georgia during November and December 1864.

Scallawag

The word scallawag is an Americanism and is defined as a loafer, a vagabond, or a rogue. Scallawag had a special meaning after the Civil War as an epithet for a white Southerner who willingly accepted the reforms by the Republicans. Mitchell defines Scallawags as, "Southerners who had turned Republican very profitably." Rhett Butler is accused of being a "damned Scallawag." In addition to Scallawags, there are also other types of scoundrels in the novel: Yankees, Carpetbagger
Carpetbagger
Carpetbaggers was a pejorative term Southerners gave to Northerners who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era, between 1865 and 1877....

s, Republicans, prostitute and overseer. In the early years of the Civil War, Rhett is called a "scoundrel" for his "selfish gains" profiteering as a blockader.

As a Scallawag, Rhett is despised. He is the "dark, mysterious, and slightly malevolent hero loose in the world." Literary scholars have identified characteristics of Margaret Mitchell's first husband, Berrien "Red" Upshaw, in the character of Rhett,while another sees the image of Italian actor, Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...

. Fictional hero, Rhett Butler, has a "swarthy face, flashing teeth and dark alert eyes." He is a "scamp, blackguard, without scruple or honor."

Plot summary

Gone with the Wind takes place in the southern United States of America in the state of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 (1861–1865) and the Reconstruction Era (1865–1877) that followed the war. The novel unfolds against the backdrop of rebellion
Rebellion
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

 wherein seven southern states, Georgia among them, have declared their secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from the United States (the "Union") and formed the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 (the "Confederacy"), after Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 was elected president with no ballots from ten Southern states where slavery was legal. A dispute over states' rights
States' rights
States' rights in U.S. politics refers to political powers reserved for the U.S. state governments rather than the federal government. It is often considered a loaded term because of its use in opposition to federally mandated racial desegregation...

 has arisen involving African slaves that were the source of manual labor on cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

s throughout the South
South
South is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.South is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to east and west.By convention, the bottom side of a map is south....

. The story opens in April 1861 at the "Tara" plantation, which is owned by a wealthy Irish immigrant family, the O'Haras. The reader is told Scarlett O'Hara, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Gerald and Ellen O'Hara, "was not beautiful, but" had an effect on men, especially when she took notice of them. It is the day before the men are called to war, Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter
The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War. Following declarations of secession by seven Southern states, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On...

 having been fired on two days earlier.

There are brief but vivid descriptions of the South as it began and grew, with backgrounds of the main characters: the stylish and highbrow French, the gentlemanly English, the forced-to-flee and looked-down-upon Irish. Miss Scarlett learns that one of her many beaux, Ashley Wilkes, is soon to be engaged to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton. She is stricken at heart. The following day at the Wilkes's barbecue at "Twelve Oaks," Scarlett informs Ashley she loves him and Ashley admits he cares for her. However, he knows he would not be happily married to Scarlett because of their personality differences. Scarlett loses her temper at Ashley and he silently takes it.

Then Scarlett meets Rhett Butler
Rhett Butler
Rhett Butler is a fictional character and one of the main protagonists of Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.-Role:In the beginning of the novel, we first meet Rhett at the Twelve Oaks Plantation barbecue, the home of John Wilkes and his son Ashley and daughters Honey and India Wilkes...

, a man who has a reputation as a rogue. Rhett had been alone in the library where the dialogue between Scarlett and Ashley took place, unseen by the couple. Rhett applauds Scarlett for the unladylike spirit she displayed with Ashley. Infuriated and humiliated, Scarlett tells Rhett, "You aren't fit to wipe Ashley's boots!"

Immediately after, she finds out that war has been declared and the men are going to enlist. Seeking revenge for being jilted by Ashley, Scarlett accepts a proposal of marriage from Melanie's brother, Charles Hamilton. They marry two weeks later. Charles dies from measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

 two months after the war begins. Scarlett is pregnant with her first child. A widow at merely sixteen, she gives birth to a boy, Wade Hampton Hamilton, named after his father's general. As a widow, she is bound by tradition, having to wear black and not allowed to speak to young men. Scarlett goes into a depression over all the restrictions placed upon her.

Melanie, who is living in Atlanta with Aunt Pittypat, invites Scarlett to live with them. In Atlanta, Scarlett's spirits revive and she is busy with hospital work and sewing circles for the Confederate army. Scarlett encounters Rhett Butler again at a dance for the Confederacy. Although Rhett believes the war is a lost cause, he is blockade running
Blockade runner
A blockade runner is usually a lighter weight ship used for evading a naval blockade of a port or strait, as opposed to confronting the blockaders to break the blockade. Very often blockade running is done in order to transport cargo, for example to bring food or arms to a blockaded city...

 for the profit in it. The men must bid for a dance with a lady and Rhett bids "one hundred fifty dollars-in gold" for a dance with Scarlett. Everyone at the dance is shocked that Rhett would bid for Scarlett, the widow still dressed in black. Melanie smooths things over by coming to Rhett's defense because he is generously supporting the Confederate cause that her husband, Ashley, is fighting for.

At Christmas (1863), Ashley has been granted a furlough from the army and returns to Atlanta to be with Melanie. The war is going badly for the Confederacy. Atlanta is under siege
Battle of Atlanta
The Battle of Atlanta was a battle of the Atlanta Campaign fought during the American Civil War on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Continuing their summer campaign to seize the important rail and supply center of Atlanta, Union forces commanded by William T. Sherman overwhelmed...

 (Sept. 1864), "hemmed in on three sides," it descends into a desperate state while hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers lie dying or dead in the city. Melanie is pregnant and in labor with no doctor available, only inexperienced Scarlett to assist. Prissy, a young Negro servant girl, cries out in despair and fear, "De Yankees is comin!" In the chaos, Scarlett, left to fend for herself, cries for the comfort and safety of her mother and Tara. The tattered Confederate States Army
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 sets flame to Atlanta as they abandon it to the Union army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

.

Melanie gives birth to a boy named Beauregard, and now they must hurry for refuge. Scarlett tells Prissy to go find Rhett, but she is afraid to "go runnin' roun' in de dahk." Scarlett replies to Prissy, "Haven't you any gumption?" Prissy then finds Rhett, and Scarlett begs him to take herself, Wade, Melanie, Beau, and Prissy to Tara. Rhett laughs at the idea, but steals an emaciated horse and a small wagon
Wagon
A wagon is a heavy four-wheeled vehicle pulled by draught animals; it was formerly often called a wain, and if low and sideless may be called a dray, trolley or float....

, and they follow the retreating army out of Atlanta.

Part way to Tara, Rhett has a change of heart and he abandons Scarlett to enlist in the army. Scarlett makes her way to Tara without him where she is welcomed on the steps by her father, Gerald. It is clear things have drastically changed: Gerald has lost his mind, Scarlett's mother is dead, her sisters are sick with typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

, the field slaves
Field slaves
Field slaves were African American people who did the hard manual labor in the fields of plantations. They commonly picked cotton, sugar, rice and tobacco....

 are gone, the Yankees have burned all the cotton and there is no food in the house.

The long tiring struggle for post-war survival begins that has Scarlett working in the fields. There are so many hungry people to feed and so little food. There is the ever present threat of the Yankees who steal and burn, and at one point, Scarlett kills a Yankee marauder with a single shot from Charles's pistol, leaving "a bloody pit where the nose had been."

A long succession of Confederate soldiers returning home stop at Tara to find food and rest. Two
men stay on, an invalid Cracker
Cracker (pejorative)
Cracker, sometimes white cracker, is a pejorative term for white people. It is an ethnic slur that is especially used for the white inhabitants of the U.S. states of Georgia and Florida , but it is also used throughout the United States.-Etymology:One theory holds that the term comes from the...

, Will Benteen, and Ashley Wilkes, whose spirit is broken. Life at Tara slowly begins to recover when a new threat appears, hiked up taxes on Tara.

Scarlett knows only one man who has enough money to help her pay the taxes, Rhett Butler. She goes to Atlanta to find him only to learn Rhett is in jail. As she is leaving the jailhouse, Scarlett runs into Frank Kennedy, who is betrothed to Scarlett's sister, Suellen, and running a store in Atlanta. Soon realizing Frank also has money, Scarlett hatches a plot and tells Frank that Suellen has changed her mind about marrying him. Thereafter Frank succumbs to Scarlett's feminine charms and he marries her two weeks later knowing he has done "something romantic and exciting for the first time in his life." Always wanting Scarlett to be happy and radiant, Frank gives her the money to pay the taxes on Tara.

While Frank has a cold and is being pampered by Aunt Pittypat, Scarlett goes over the accounts at Frank's store and finds many of his friends owe him money. Scarlett is now terrified about the taxes and decides money, a lot of it, is needed. She takes control of his business while he is away and makes many Atlantians resent her. Then with a loan from Rhett she buys a sawmill
Sawmill
A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards.-Sawmill process:A sawmill's basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago; a log enters on one end and dimensional lumber exits on the other end....

 and runs the lumber business herself, all very unladylike conduct. Much to Frank's relief, Scarlett learns she is pregnant, which curtails her activities for awhile. She twists Ashley's arm to come to Atlanta and manage the mill, all the while still in love with him. At Melanie's urging, Ashley takes the job at the mill. Melanie soon becomes the center of Atlanta society, and Scarlett gives birth to a girl named Ella Lorena. "Ella for her grandmother Ellen, and Lorena because it was the most fashionable name of the day for girls."

The state of Georgia is under martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 and life there has taken on a new and more frightening tone. For protection, Scarlett keeps Frank's pistol tucked in the upholstery of the buggy. Her trips alone to and from the mill take her past a shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

 where criminal elements live. On one evening when she is coming home from the mill, Scarlett is accosted by two men who attempt to rob her, but she escapes with the help of Big Sam, the former negro foreman from Tara. Attempting to avenge the assault on his wife, Frank and the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 raid the shanty town whereupon Frank is shot dead. Scarlett is a widow for a second time.

Rhett puts on a charade to keep the men who participated in the shanty town raid from being arrested. He walks into the Wilkeses' home with Hugh Elsing and Ashley, singing and pretending to be drunk. Yankee officers outside the home question Rhett and he tells them he and the other men had been at Belle Watling's brothel
Brothel
Brothels are business establishments where patrons can engage in sexual activities with prostitutes. Brothels are known under a variety of names, including bordello, cathouse, knocking shop, whorehouse, strumpet house, sporting house, house of ill repute, house of prostitution, and bawdy house...

 that evening, a story Belle later confirms to the officers. The men are indebted to Rhett for saving them, and his Scallawag
Scalawag
In United States history, scalawag was a derogatory nickname for southern whites who supported Reconstruction following the Civil War.-History:...

 reputation among them improves a notch, but the men's wives, with the exception of Melanie, are livid at owing their husbands' lives to Belle Watling.

Frank Kennedy lies cold in a coffin
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

 in the quiet stillness of the parlor in Aunt Pittypat's home. Scarlett is in a remorseful state. She is swigging brandy
Brandy
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink...

 from Aunt Pitty's swoon bottle when Rhett comes to call. She tells Rhett tearfully, "I'm afraid I'll die and go to hell," to which Rhett replies, "Maybe there isn't a hell." Before she can cry any further, Rhett asks Scarlett to marry him saying, "I always intended having you, one way or another." Scarlett declares she doesn't love him and doesn't want to be married again. However, Rhett kisses her passionately, and in the heat of the moment she agrees to marry him. One year later, Scarlett and Rhett announce their engagement.

News of the impending marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 is the talk of the town. Mr. and Mrs. Butler honeymoon in New Orleans, spending lavishly. Upon their return to Atlanta, the couple take up residence in the bridal suite at the National Hotel while their new home on Peachtree Street
Peachtree Street
Peachtree Street is the main street of Atlanta. The city grew up around the street, and many of its historical and municipal buildings are or were located along it...

 is being constructed. Scarlett chooses a modern Swiss chalet style
Swiss chalet style
Swiss chalet style is an architectural style inspired by the chalets of Switzerland. The style originated in Germany in the early 19th century and was popular in parts of Europe and North America, notably in the architecture of Norway, the country house architecture of Sweden, Cincinnati, Ohio,...

 home like the one she saw in Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly was an American political magazine based in New York City. Published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916, it featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects, and humor...

, and red wallpaper, thick red carpet and black walnut furniture for the interior. Rhett describes the house as an "architectural horror." Shortly after the Butlers move into their new home, the sardonic jabs between them turn into full-blown quarrels. Scarlett wonders why Rhett married her. Then "with real hate in her eyes" she tells Rhett she is going to have a baby, a baby she does not want.
Wade is seven years old in 1869 when his sister, Eugenie Victoria, named after two queens, arrives in the world. She has blue eyes like Gerald O'Hara and Melanie gives her the nickname, "Bonnie Blue," in reference to the Bonnie Blue Flag
Flags of the Confederate States of America
There were only three flag designs adopted, with later, minor variants made to those designs, that served as the official national flags of the Confederate States of America and used during its existence from 1861 to 1865...

 of the Confederacy.

When Scarlett is feeling well again, she makes a trip to the mill and talks to Ashley, who is alone in the office. In the conversation with him, she comes away believing Ashley still loves her and is jealous of her intimate relations with Rhett, which excites her. Scarlett returns home and tells Rhett she does not want more children. From then on, Scarlett and Rhett sleep in separate bedrooms, and when Bonnie is two years old, she sleeps in a little bed beside Rhett's bed (with the light on all night long because she is afraid of the dark). Rhett turns his attention towards Bonnie, dotes on her, spoils her, and worries about her reputation when she is older.

Melanie is giving a surprise birthday party for Ashley. Scarlett goes to the mill to keep Ashley there until party time, a rare opportunity for Scarlett to see Ashley alone. When she sees him, she feels "sixteen again, a little breathless and excited." Ashley tells her how pretty she looks, and they reminisce about the days when they were young and talk about their lives now. Suddenly Scarlett's eyes fill with tears and Ashley holds her head against his chest. Then in the doorway of the office Ashley sees standing his sister, India Wilkes. Before the party has even begun rumors of an adulterous relationship between Ashley and Scarlett have started, and Rhett and Melanie have heard the gossip. Melanie refuses to accept any criticism of her sister in-law and India Wilkes is banished from the Wilkeses' home for it, causing a rift in the family.

Rhett, more drunk than Scarlett has ever seen him, returns home the evening of the party long after Scarlett. His eyes are bloodshot and his mood is dark and violent. He enjoins Scarlett to drink with him. Not wanting Rhett to know she is fearful of him, Scarlett throws back a drink and gets up from her chair to go back to her bedroom. But Rhett stops her and pins her shoulders to the wall. Scarlett tells Rhett he is jealous of Ashley and Rhett accuses Scarlett of "crying for the moon" over Ashley. He tells Scarlett they could have been happy together saying, "for I loved you and I know you." Rhett then takes Scarlett in his arms and carries her up the stairs to her bedroom where passion envelops them.

The following morning Rhett leaves town with Bonnie and Prissy and stays away for three months. Scarlett finds herself missing him, but she is still unsure if Rhett loves her, having told her so when he was drunk. She learns she is pregnant with her fourth child.

On the day Rhett arrives home, Scarlett waits for him at the top of the stairs. She wonders if Rhett will kiss her, but to Scarlett's irritation, he does not. He tells her she looks pale. Scarlett tells him she is pale because she is pregnant. Rhett sarcastically asks her if the father is Ashley. She calls Rhett a cad and tells him no woman would want a baby of his. To which Rhett responds, "cheer up, maybe you'll have a miscarriage." At that comment, Scarlett lunges at Rhett, but he side steps and she tumbles backwards down the stairs. She is seriously ill for the first time in her life, having lost her child and broken her ribs. Rhett is remorseful, believing he has killed her. Sobbing and drunk, Rhett buries his head in Melanie's lap and confesses he had been a jealous cad.

Scarlett, who is thin and pale, goes to Tara taking Wade and Ella with her, to regain her strength and vitality from "the green cotton fields of home." When she returns a healthy woman to Atlanta, she sells the mills to Ashley. She finds Rhett's attitude has noticeably changed. He is sober, kinder, polite and seemingly disinterested. Though she misses the old Rhett at times, Scarlett is content to leave well enough alone.

Now Bonnie is four years old in 1873. A spirited and willful child, she has her father wrapped around her finger and giving into her every demand. Even Scarlett is jealous of the attention she gets from him. Rhett rides his horse around town with Bonnie in front of him, but the household mammy
Mammy archetype
The mammy archetype is perhaps one of the best-known archetypes of African American women. She is often portrayed within a narrative framework or other imagery as a domestic servant of African descent, generally good-natured, often overweight, very dark skinned, middle aged, and loud...

, "Mammy," insists it is not fitting for a girl to ride a horse with her dress flying up. Rhett heeds Mammy's words and buys Bonnie a Shetland pony
Shetland pony
The Shetland pony is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles. Shetlands range in size from a minimum height of approximately 28 inches to an official maximum height of 42 inches at the withers. Shetland ponies have heavy coats, short legs and are considered quite intelligent...

, whom she names "Mr. Butler," and teaches her to ride sidesaddle
Sidesaddle
Sidesaddle riding is a form of Equestrianism that uses a type of saddle which allows a rider to sit aside rather than astride a horse, mule or pony. Sitting aside dates back to antiquity and developed in European countries in the Middle Ages as a way for women in skirts to ride a horse in a modest...

. Then Rhett pays a boy named Wash twenty-five cents to teach Mr. Butler to jump over wood bars. When Mr. Butler is able to get his fat legs over a one foot high bar, Rhett puts Bonnie on the pony, and soon Mr. Butler is leaping bars and Aunt Melly's rose bushes.

Wearing her blue velvet riding habit
Riding habit
A riding habit is women's clothing for horseback riding.Since the mid-17th century, a formal habit for riding sidesaddle usually consisted of:* A tailored jacket with a long skirt to match* A tailored shirt or chemisette...

 with a red feather in her black hat, Bonnie pleads with her father to raise the bar to one and a half feet. He gives in and raises the bar, warning her not to come crying to him if she falls. Bonnie yells to her Mother, "Watch me take this one!" The pony gallops towards the wood bar, but trips over it splintering the wood. Mr. Butler tumbles to the ground then scrambles to his feet and trots off with an empty saddle. Little Miss "Bonnie Blue" Butler is dead.

In the dark days and months following Bonnie's death, Rhett is often drunk and disheveled, while Scarlett, though deeply grieved also, seems to hold up under the strain. With the untimely death of Melanie Wilkes a short time later, Rhett decides he only wants the calm dignity of the genial South he once knew in his youth and he leaves Atlanta to find it. Meanwhile, Scarlett dreams of love that has eluded her for so long, but she still has Tara, and "tomorrow is another day."

Main characters

  • Katie Scarlett (O'Hara) Hamilton Kennedy Butler – The protagonist
    Protagonist
    A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

     of the novel, Scarlett's forthright Irish blood is always at variance with the French teachings of style from her mother, Ellen O'Hara. Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton, Frank Kennedy, and Rhett Butler, all the time wishing she is married to Ashley Wilkes instead. She has three children, one from each husband: Wade Hampton Hamilton (son to Charles Hamilton), Ella Lorena Kennedy (daughter to Frank Kennedy) and Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler (daughter to Rhett Butler). She miscarries a fourth child, the only one she wanted, during a quarrel with Rhett when she accidentally falls down the stairs. Scarlett is secretly scornful of Melanie Wilkes, wife to Ashley, who shows nothing but love and devotion towards Scarlett, and considers her a sister throughout her life because Scarlett married Melanie's brother Charles. Scarlett is unaware of the extent of Rhett's love for her or that she might love him.

  • Captain Rhett K. Butler – Scarlett's admirer and third husband, Rhett is often publicly shunned for his scandalous behavior and sometimes accepted for his charm. Rhett declares he is not a marrying man and propositions Scarlett to be his mistress, but marries her after the death of Frank Kennedy, explaining that he won't take a chance on losing her to someone else, since it is unlikely she will ever need money again after Frank's death. Rhett only tells Scarlett he loves her after they are married, during an argument with her when he is drunk. Later, at the end of the novel, Rhett confesses to Scarlett, "I loved you but I couldn't let you know it. You're so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett."

  • Major George Ashley Wilkes – The gallant Ashley married his cousin, Melanie, because "Like must marry like or there'll be no happiness." A man of honor, Ashley became a soldier in grey
    Uniforms of the Confederate States military forces
    The Uniforms of the Confederate States military forces were the uniforms used by the Confederate Army and Navy during the American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865...

     in the Confederate States Army
    Confederate States Army
    The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

     though he says he would have freed his slaves after his father's death, if the war hadn't done it first. Although many of his friends and relations were killed in the Civil War, Ashley survived to see its brutal aftermath. Ashley was "the Perfect Knight" in the mind of Scarlett, even throughout her three marriages. "She loved him and wanted him and did not understand him."

  • Melanie (Hamilton) Wilkes – Ashley's wife and cousin, Melanie is a genuinely humble, serene and gracious Southern woman. As the story unfolds, Melanie becomes progressively physically weaker, first by childbirth
    Childbirth
    Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

    , then "the hard work she had done at Tara," and she ultimately dies after a miscarriage. As Rhett Butler said, "She never had any strength. She's never had anything but heart."

Minor characters

  • Archie – An ex-convict and former Confederate soldier who is imprisoned for the murder of his adulterous wife, he is taken in by Melanie and then later became Scarlett's coach driver.

  • Will Benteen – "South Georgia Cracker
    Cracker (pejorative)
    Cracker, sometimes white cracker, is a pejorative term for white people. It is an ethnic slur that is especially used for the white inhabitants of the U.S. states of Georgia and Florida , but it is also used throughout the United States.-Etymology:One theory holds that the term comes from the...

    ," Confederate soldier and patient listener to the troubles of all. Will lost part of his leg in the war and walks with the aid of a wooden stump. He is taken in by the O'Haras on his journey home from the war and after his recovery stays on to manage the farm at Tara. Fond of Carreen O'Hara, he cannot pursue that relationship as she decides to enter a convent. Not wanting to leave Tara, the land he has come to love, he later marries Suellen and has at least one child with her.

  • Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler – Scarlett and Rhett's beloved, pretty, strong-willed daughter, as Irish in looks and temper as Gerald O'Hara, with the same blue eyes.

  • Calvert Children: Raiford, Cade and Cathleen – The O'Haras' County neighbors from another plantation. Cathleen Calvert was young Scarlett's friend.

  • Dilcey – Pork's wife, a slave woman of mixed Indian and African descent. Scarlett pushes her father into buying Dilcey and her daughter Prissy from John Wilkes, the latter as a favor to Dilcey that she never forgets.

  • Fontaine Boys: Joe, Tony and Alex – are known for their hot tempers. Joe is killed at Gettysburg, while Tony eventually murders Jonas Wilkerson in a barroom and flees to Texas, leaving Alex to tend to their plantation lands.

  • Charles Hamilton – Melanie Wilkes' brother and Scarlett's first husband, Charles is a shy and loving boy.

  • Aunt Pittypat Hamilton – Her real name is Sarah Jane Hamilton, but she acquired the nickname "Pittypat" in childhood because of the way she walked on her tiny feet. Aunt Pittypat is a spinster
    Spinster
    A spinster, or old maid, is an older, childless woman who has never been married.For a woman to be identified as a spinster, age is critical...

     who lives in the red-brick house at the quiet end of Peachtree Street
    Peachtree Street
    Peachtree Street is the main street of Atlanta. The city grew up around the street, and many of its historical and municipal buildings are or were located along it...

     in Atlanta. The house is half-owned by Scarlett (after the death of Charles Hamilton). Pittypat's financial affairs are managed by her brother, Henry, whom she doesn't especially care for. Aunt Pittypat raised Melanie and Charles Hamilton after the death of their father, with considerable help from her slave, Uncle Peter.

  • Wade Hampton Hamilton – Son of Scarlett and Charles, born in early 1862. He was named for his father's commanding officer, Wade Hampton III
    Wade Hampton III
    Wade Hampton III was a Confederate cavalry leader during the American Civil War and afterward a politician from South Carolina, serving as its 77th Governor and as a U.S...

    .

  • Ella Lorena Kennedy – Homely, simple daughter of Scarlett and Frank.

  • Frank Kennedy – Suellen O'Hara's former fiance and Scarlett's second husband, Frank is an unattractive older man. He originally asks for Suellen's hand in marriage, but Scarlett steals him for herself in order to have enough money to pay the taxes on Tara. Frank is unable to comprehend Scarlett's fears and her desperate struggle for survival after the war. He is unwilling to be as ruthless in business as Scarlett would like him to be. Unknown to Scarlett, Frank is secretly involved in the Ku Klux Klan
    Ku Klux Klan
    Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

    . He is "shot through the head," according to Rhett Butler, while attempting to defend Scarlett's honor after she is attacked.

  • Mammy – Scarlett's nurse from birth, Mammy is a slave who originally belonged to Scarlett's grandmother, and raised her mother, Ellen O'Hara. Mammy is "head woman of the plantation."

  • Dr. Meade – A doctor in Atlanta, he looks after injured soldiers during the siege, with assistance from Melanie and Scarlett. His two sons are killed in the war; the older Darcy at Gettysburg, and the younger Phil as a member of the Confederate Home Guard
    Confederate Home Guard
    The Confederate Home Guard was a somewhat loosely organized militia that was under the direction and authority of the Confederate States of America, working in coordination with the Confederate Army, and was tasked with both the defense of the Confederate home front during the American Civil War,...

     during the Battle of Atlanta.

  • Mrs. Merriwether – is in Aunt Pittypat's social circle along with Mrs. Elsing and Mrs. Meade. Post-war she sells homemade pies to survive, eventually opening her own bakery.

  • Caroline Irene ("Carreen") O'Hara – Scarlett's youngest sister, who also became sickened by typhoid during the Battle of Atlanta. She is infatuated with the rowdy red-headed Brent Tarleton, who is killed in the war after becoming engaged to her. Broken-hearted by Brent's death, Carreen never truly gets over it and years later joins a convent.

  • Ellen (Robillard) O'Hara – Scarlett's gracious mother of French ancestry, Ellen married Gerald O'Hara, who was 28 years her senior, after her true love, Phillipe Robillard, was killed in a bar fight. Ellen ran all aspects of the household and nursed negro slaves as well as poor white trash
    White trash
    White trash is an American English pejorative term referring to poor white people in the United States, suggesting lower social class and degraded living standards...

    . She dies from typhoid in August 1864 after nursing Emmie Slattery.

  • Gerald O'Hara – Scarlett's Irish father and an excellent horseman, Gerald is sometimes seen leaping fences on his horse while intoxicated, which eventually leads to his death. Gerald's mind becomes addled after the death of his wife, Ellen.

  • Susan Elinor ("Suellen") O'Hara – Scarlett's middle sister, who became sickened by typhoid
    Typhoid fever
    Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

     during the Battle of Atlanta
    Battle of Atlanta
    The Battle of Atlanta was a battle of the Atlanta Campaign fought during the American Civil War on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Continuing their summer campaign to seize the important rail and supply center of Atlanta, Union forces commanded by William T. Sherman overwhelmed...

    . After the war, Scarlett steals and marries her beau, Frank Kennedy. Later, Suellen marries Will Benteen and has at least one child with him.

  • O'Hara Boys – Three boys of Ellen and Gerald O'Hara who died in infancy and are buried 100 yards from the house at Tara under twisted cedars. The headstone
    Headstone
    A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

     of each boy is inscribed "Gerald O'Hara, Jr."

  • Uncle Peter – an older man and slave. Uncle Peter is Aunt Pittypat's coach driver. He always keeps her smelling salts handy. Uncle Peter looked after Melanie and Charles Hamilton when they were young.

  • Pork – Gerald O'Hara's valet and the first slave he owned. Pork was won in a game of poker (as was the plantation Tara, in a separate poker game). When Gerald died, Scarlett gave his pocket watch
    Pocket watch
    A pocket watch is a watch that is made to be carried in a pocket, as opposed to a wristwatch, which is strapped to the wrist. They were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after World War I during which a transitional design,...

     to Pork. She wanted to have the watch engraved with the words, "To Pork from the O'Hara's—Well done good and faithful servant," but Pork declined the offer.

  • Prissy – A child slave girl, Pork and Dilcey's daughter. Prissy is given to Scarlett as a handmaid when Scarlett goes to Atlanta to live with Aunt Pittypat.

  • Eulalie and Pauline Robillard – The married sisters of Ellen O'Hara who live in Charleston
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

    .

  • Philippe Robillard – The cousin of Ellen O'Hara and her first love. Philippe died in a bar fight in New Orleans around 1844.

  • Pierre Robillard – The father of Ellen O'Hara. He was staunchly Presbyterian
    Presbyterianism
    Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

    , even though his family was Roman Catholic. The thought of his daughter becoming a nun
    Nun
    A nun is a woman who has taken vows committing her to live a spiritual life. She may be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent...

     was even worse than that of her marrying Gerald O'Hara.

  • Big Sam – A strong, husky, hardworking field slave who in post-war lawlessness comes to Scarlett's rescue from would-be merciless thieves.

  • Emmie Slattery – The daughter of Tom Slattery, Emmie was poor white trash whose family lived on three meager acres along the swamp bottoms. Emmie gave birth to an illegitimate child fathered by Jonas Wilkerson, a Yankee and the overseer at Tara. The child died. Emmie later married Jonas, and after the war, flush with carpetbagger cash, they try to buy Tara, but Scarlett is insulted and refuses the offer.

  • Beatrice Tarleton – was a busy woman, having on her hands not only a large cotton plantation, a hundred negroes and eight children, but the largest horse-breeding farm in Georgia. She was hot-tempered. No one was permitted to whip a horse or a slave, but she felt that a lick every now and then did her boys no harm.

  • Tarleton Boys: Boyd, Tom, and the twins, Brent and Stuart – The red-headed Tarleton boys were in frequent scrapes, loved practical jokes and gossip, and "were worse than the plagues of Egypt
    Plagues of Egypt
    The Plagues of Egypt , also called the Ten Plagues or the Biblical Plagues, were ten calamities that, according to the biblical Book of Exodus, Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh capitulated after the tenth...

    ," according to their mother. Mrs. Tarleton laid her riding crop on their backs if the occasion seem warranted, though Boyd, the oldest and the runt, never got hit much. The inseparable twins, Brent and Stuart, at 19 years old were six feet two inches tall. All four boys were killed in the war, the twins just moments apart at the Battle of Gettysburg
    Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

    . Boyd was buried in Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

    , but only God knew where.

  • Tarleton Girls: Hetty, Camilla, 'Randa and Betsy – The stunning Tarleton girls have varying shades of red hair.

  • Belle Watling – A prostitute and brothel madam, Belle is portrayed as a loyal confederate. Melanie declares she will acknowledge Belle when she passes her in the street, but Belle tells her not to.

  • Jonas Wilkerson – The Yankee overseer of Tara before the Civil War.

  • Beauregard Wilkes – Melanie and Ashley's son. Born in Atlanta when the siege begins, and then hastily transported to Tara after birth.

  • Honey Wilkes – Sister of India and Ashley Wilkes, Honey is described as having the "odd lashless look of a rabbit." Honey is so called because she indiscriminately addresses everyone, from her father to the field hands, by that endearment.

  • India Wilkes – Sister of Honey and Ashley Wilkes. India is plain.

  • John Wilkes – Owner of "Twelve Oaks" and patriarch of the Wilkes family, John Wilkes is educated, gracious and loving. He is killed during the Battle of Atlanta.

Survival

Scarlett and Rhett are survivors because they adapt to the changes brought about by the war and Reconstruction.

Book reviews

The sales of Margaret Mitchell's novel in the summer of 1936, at the virtually unprecedented price of three dollars, reached about one million by the end of December. The book was a best-seller by the time reviews began to appear in national magazines.

Herschel Brickell, a critic for the New York Evening Post, lauded Mitchell for the way she, "tosses out the window all the thousands of technical tricks our novelists have been playing with for the past twenty years."

Ralph Thompson, a book reviewer for the New York Times, was critical of the length of the novel, and wrote in June 1936:
I happen to feel that the book would have been infinitely better had it been edited down to say, 500 pages, but there speaks the harassed daily reviewer as well as the would-be judicious critic. Very nearly every reader will agree, no doubt, that a more disciplined and less prodigal piece of work would have more nearly done justice to the subject-matter.

Criticisms for racial issues

One criticism leveled at Gone with the Wind is for its portrayal of African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s in the 19th century South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. For example, former field hands (during the early days of Reconstruction) are described behaving "as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects whose value is beyond their comprehension, they ran wild—either from perverse pleasure in destruction or simply because of their ignorance."

It has also been argued that Mitchell downplayed the violent role of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

. Bestselling author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy , is a New York Times bestselling author who has written several acclaimed novels and memoirs. Two of his novels, The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, were made into Oscar-nominated films.-Early life:...

, in his preface to the novel, describes Mitchell's portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as having "the same romanticized role it had in The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith also co-wrote the screenplay , and co-produced the film . It was released on February 8, 1915...

 and appears to be a benign combination of the Elks Club and a men's equestrian society."

Regarding the historical inaccuracies of the novel, historian Richard N. Current
Richard N. Current
Richard Nelson Current is an American historian.-Life:He graduated from Oberlin College, from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with an M.A., and from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in history in 1940...

 points out:
No doubt it is indeed unfortunate that Gone with the Wind perpetuates many myths about Reconstruction, particularly with respect to blacks. Margaret Mitchell did not originate them and a young novelist can scarcely be faulted for not knowing what the majority of mature, professional historians did not know until many years later.


In Gone with the Wind, Mitchell is blind to racial oppression and "the inseparability of race and gender" that defines the southern belle character of Scarlett.

Sequels

Although Mitchell refused to write a sequel to Gone with the Wind, Mitchell's estate authorized Alexandra Ripley
Alexandra Ripley
Alexandra Ripley, née Braid was an American writer best known as the author of Scarlett , the sequel to Gone with the Wind. Her first novel was Who's the Lady in the President's Bed?...

 to write a sequel, which was titled Scarlett
Scarlett (novel)
Scarlett is a novel written in 1991 by Alexandra Ripley as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. The book debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list, but both critics and fans of the original novel found Ripley's version to be inconsistent with the literary quality of Gone with...

. The book was subsequently adapted into a television mini-series in 1994. A second sequel was authorized by Mitchell's estate titled Rhett Butler's People
Rhett Butler's People
Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig is an authorized sequel to Gone with the Wind. It was published in November 2007.Fully authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate, Rhett Butler’s People is a novel that parallels Gone with the Wind from Rhett Butler's perspective. The book was unveiled on...

, by Donald McCaig
Donald McCaig
Donald McCaig is an American novelist, poet and essayist. He lives on a sheep farm in Western Virginia.His 1998 novel set in Civil War Virginia won the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction...

. The novel parallels Gone with the Wind from Rhett Butler's perspective.

The copyright holders of Gone with the Wind attempted to suppress publication of The Wind Done Gone
The Wind Done Gone
The Wind Done Gone is the first novel written by Alice Randall. It was a bestselling historical parallel novel that reinterprets the famous American novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.- Plot summary :...

 by Alice Randall
Alice Randall
Alice Randall is an American author and songwriter. Randall grew up in Washington, D.C.. She attended Harvard University, where she earned an honors degree in English and American literature, before moving to Nashville in 1983 to become a country songwriter. She currently lives in Nashville,...

, which retold the story from the perspective of the slaves. A federal appeals court denied the plaintiffs an injunction (Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin
Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin
Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 252 F. 3d 1165 , opinion at 268 F.3d 1257, was a case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit against the owner of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, vacating an injunction prohibiting the publisher of Alice Randall's The Wind...

) against publication on the basis that the book was parody and therefore protected by the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

. The parties subsequently settled out of court and the book went on to become a New York Times bestseller.

A book sequel unauthorized by the copyright holders, The Winds of Tara by Katherine Pinotti, was blocked from publication in the United States. The novel was republished in Australia, avoiding U.S. copyright restrictions.

Numerous unauthorized sequels to Gone with the Wind have been published in Russia, mostly under the pseudonym Yuliya Hilpatrik, a cover for a consortium of writers. The New York Times states that most of these have a 'Slavic' flavor.

Adaptations

Gone with the Wind has been adapted several times for stage and screen. The novel is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 1939 film
Gone with the Wind (film)
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American historical epic film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel of the same name. It was produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Victor Fleming from a screenplay by Sidney Howard...

 starring Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

 and Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier was an English actress. She won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire , a role she also played on stage in London's West End, as well as for her portrayal of the southern belle Scarlett O'Hara, alongside Clark...

. On the U.S. stage the book has been adapted into two musical versions, Scarlett
Scarlett (musical)
Scarlett is a musical with a score by Harold Rome. The original Japanese book is by Kazuo Kikuta. The Tokyo production was directed by American director/choreographer Joe Layton, with musical direction by Lehman Engel....

 and Gone with the Wind
Gone With The Wind (musical)
Gone with the Wind is a musical based on the Margaret Mitchell's novel of the same name and its 1939 film adaptation, with music and lyrics by Margaret Martin, and a book by Martin, adapted by Sir Trevor Nunn....

. The Japanese Takarazuka Revue
Takarazuka Revue
The Takarazuka Revue is a Japanese all-female musical theater troupe based in Takarazuka, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. Women play all roles in lavish, Broadway-style productions of Western-style musicals, and sometimes stories adapted from shōjo manga and Japanese folktales. The troupe takes its name...

 produced a musical adaptation of the novel. There has also been a French musical adaptation by Gérard Presgurvic, Autant en Emporte le Vent.

Awards and recognition

On May 3, 1937, author Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 for Gone with the Wind. It is the second favorite book by Americans, just behind the Bible, according to a 2008 Harris Poll. The poll found the novel has its strongest following among women, those aged 44 or more, both Southerners and Midwesterners, both whites and Hispanics, and those who have not attended college. The novel is on the list of best-selling books, selling more than 30 million copies. TIME
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine critics, Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo, included the novel on their list of the 100 best English-Language novels from 1923 to the present (2005).

On June 30, 1986, the 50th anniversary of the day Gone with the Wind went on sale, the U.S. Post Office issued a 1-cent stamp showing an image of Margaret Mitchell. The stamp was designed by Ronald Adair and was part of the U.S. Postal Service's Great Americans
Great Americans series
The Great Americans series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Postal Service, starting on December 27, 1980 with the 19¢ stamp depicting Sequoyah, and continuing through 2002, the final stamp being the 78¢ Alice Paul self-adhesive stamp. The series, noted for its simplicity...

 series.

On September 10, 1998, the U.S. Post Office issued a 32-cents stamp as part of its Celebrate the Century
Celebrate the Century
Celebrate the Century is the name of a series of postage stamps made by the United States Postal Service featuring images recalling various important events in the 20th century in the United States....

 series recalling various important events in the 20th century. The stamp, designed by Howard Paine, displays the book with its original dust jacket
Dust jacket
The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers...

, a white Magnolia
Magnolia
Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. It is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol....

 blossom, and a hilt
Hilt
The hilt of a sword is its handle, consisting of a guard,grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A ricasso may also be present, but this is rarely the case...

 placed against a background of green velvet.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary (May 2011) of the publication of Gone with the Wind in 1936, Scribner published a paperback edition featuring the book's original jacket art.

Further reading

  • Brown, Ellen F. and John Wiley. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood. Lanham: Taylor Trade, 2011. ISBN 978-1-58979-567-9

See also

  • Lost Laysen
    Lost Laysen
    Lost Laysen is a novella written by Margaret Mitchell in 1916, although it was not published until 1996.Mitchell, who is best known as the author of Gone with the Wind, was believed to have only written one full book during her lifetime. However, when she was 15, she had written the manuscript to...

    , a 1916 novella written by Mitchell and the only other known literary work of hers to ever be published
  • Rhett Butler's People
    Rhett Butler's People
    Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig is an authorized sequel to Gone with the Wind. It was published in November 2007.Fully authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate, Rhett Butler’s People is a novel that parallels Gone with the Wind from Rhett Butler's perspective. The book was unveiled on...

    , an authorized sequel to Gone with the Wind
  • Scarlett
    Scarlett (novel)
    Scarlett is a novel written in 1991 by Alexandra Ripley as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. The book debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list, but both critics and fans of the original novel found Ripley's version to be inconsistent with the literary quality of Gone with...

    , an authorized sequel to Gone with the Wind
  • Southern literature
    Southern literature
    Southern literature is defined as American literature about the Southern United States or by writers from this region...

  • Southern Renaissance
    Southern Renaissance
    The Southern Renaissance was the reinvigoration of American Southern literature that began in the 1920s and 1930s with the appearance of writers such as William Faulkner, Caroline Gordon, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Katherine Anne Porter, Allen Tate, Tennessee Williams, and Robert Penn Warren, among...

  • Le Mondes 100 Books of the Century
    Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century
    The 100 Books of the Century is a grading of the books considered as the hundred best of the 20th century, drawn up in the spring of 1999 through a poll conducted by the French retailer Fnac and the Paris newspaper Le Monde....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK