Gone With the Wind
Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, follows the life of a sixteen year-old girl, Scarlett O’Hara beginning in the year 1861, who lives on Tara, a plantation in Georgia south of Atlanta. Her father, Gerald O’Hara, an Irish immigrant, won the plantation in an all-night poker game. Scarlett is in love with the handsome and chivalrous Ashley Wilkes, who is from the Twelve Oaks Plantation near Tara. Ashley, who believes that he and Scarlett are too different from one another, proposes to his cousin Melanie Wilkes at her family’s barbeque. Scarlett, outraged, accepts the proposal of Charles Hamilton, Melanie’s brother, hoping to hurt Ashley.
In 1861, The Civil War begins as President Lincoln calls for troops. Charles, Scarlett’s new husband after two months, volunteers for the Confederate Army and dies of the measles at the onset of training. After Charles’s death, Scarlett learns that she is pregnant with his son, later to be named Wade. Scarlett then decides that she will move to Atlanta and stay with Melanie and Melanie’s Aunt Pitypat. It is there that she is reintroduced to Rhett Butler, a scandalous adventurer, whom she had previously met at the Wilkes’s barbeque. Rhett convinces her to disregard the restrictive social requirements for mourning southern widows. While in Atlanta, Scarlett begins seeing more of Rhett as the war continues and the Union forces begin to take hold. The battle of Gettysburg rages on and Melanie’s husband, Ashley, is captured and sent to a Yankee prison. As the Union forces begin to take over Atlanta, Scarlett is desperately longing to move back to Tara, but she has promised Ashley that she will take care of Melanie, who is pregnant. Melanie gives birth to a son, Beau, the very same day that the Yankee army captures Atlanta and sets it afire. Rhett helps Melanie and Scarlett escape the Union Army and return to Tara. Once back on the plantation, Scarlett discovers that her mother, Ellen, has been killed, and the plantation has been stripped of all of the cotton and food. Scarlett remains determined to save her plantation from the Union Army.
As the war comes to an end; Ashley along with the rest of the Confederate army is coming home. A homeless, one-legged soldier, Will Benteen, who has stayed on to help at Tara, informs Scarlett that Jonas Wilkerson, a former overseer at Tara, now working for the Freedmen’s Bureau has raised taxes on the plantation, hoping to drive Scarlett out. Scarlet tries to get help from her wealthy friend, Rhet, but he is in jail. Scarlett, desperate for money to save the plantation, marries her sister’s fiancé, Frank Kennedy, who owns a general store. Frank becomes ill and cannot help Scarlett or buy her the sawmill he promised, so once again she turns to Rhett who loans her the money for the sawmill to be used to rebuild Atlanta after the war. Ashley and Melanie move to Atlanta with Scarlett to share the Business. It is at this time that Scarlett’s father,...