Free Study Guide - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell|
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GONE WITH THE WIND FREE STUDY GUIDE
Chapter one introduces several characters and foreshadows the Civil War. Scarlett
is seen as flirtatious and unpredictable, but the men seem to like her
that way. As a matter of fact, the Tarleton boys themselves seem immature
and lack any sense of seriousness or responsibility for themselves. It
is a subtle comment on the lifestyle itself. The young people didn't need
to take their education or their relationships very serious as they believed
they had plenty of time and plenty of money to take life as it came.
Scarlett allows herself to react to the Tarleton twins’ news. She is unable to believe that Ashley could be marrying Melanie as she has had a crush on him herself for years.
We meet Mammy, the black woman who had been mammy to Scarlett’s mother Ellen and has led a life devoted to the O’Hara family. She oversees all the household servants and watches over the health and behavior of the O’Hara girls. Scarlett takes advantage of a moment when Mammy goes after a shawl for her to run down the long mansion drive where she can meet her father. He had been at the Wilkes making deals for another slave, and Scarlett thinks she can get him to talk about the supposed engagement without being suspicious of her motives.
Scarlett waits at the fence, musing on the blond Ashley whom she wants even though she must admit that she doesn’t understand him. Finally her father comes racing through the fields, recklessly jumping a fence, an action he knows his wife would not approve of. Scarlett deliberately laughs to let him know she has seen him. She will not tell on him, however, as the two of them have quite a few mutual secrets involving behavior that would be considered inappropriate for either a gentleman or a lady. Gerald O’Hara tells his daughter of the slave he has bought. He has purchased Dilcey and her daughter Prissy from John Wilkes. He intends to give Prissy to Scarlett.
When Scarlett asks after Ashley, Gerald confirms the news that Ashley is about
to marry Melanie Hamilton. Scarlett pretends she is not really interested,
but Gerald sees through her and scolds her for wanting someone whose interests
are in books, poetry, music and paintings, topics that do not interest
Scarlett at all. Gerald tries to console her by telling her that she will
have Tara one day, but she is feeling sorry for herself and says that
land doesn’t amount to anything. Gerald is momentarily angry with her,
but he drops the issue. They arrive at home in time to see Ellen on her
way out. She has received a call from the Slatterys, a "white trash"
family near by who have a new, and dying, baby. Mammy objects to Ellen
going to take care of the "white trash," but she cannot stop
We begin to have a clearer picture of some of the relationships among Scarlett's circle of acquaintances. Scarlett seems to be her father's favorite and usually able to get her way, but Gerald does have some common sense about the type of person his daughter would be best suited to marry. Ellen is the kind of person who will help anyone without regard to station in spite of being a Robillard herself. Mammy, the household slave who cooks, cleans and obviously looks out for the entire family, considers herself in a class above the "white trash." We get a peek at just how much Scarlett is like her father when he takes dangerous chances himself and then bargains with Scarlett so she won't tell her mother. The importance of the land itself is foreshadowed when Gerald tells Scarlett that Tara will be hers someday and she scoffs at the very notion of land being important to anyone.
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Ruff, Dr. KSC. "TheBestNotes on Gone With the Wind".
. 09 May 2017