Free Study Guide - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell|
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The purpose of this chapter is primarily to update the information of
the war and to begin the change of attitude among the people. As those
gallant young men begin to appear on the casualty lists, the war itself
must move from the realm of fantasy and romance into a state of realism,
horror and loss.
Ashley comes home for a short furlough right before Christmas of 1863. Cade Calvert, two of the Monroe boys and the Fontaines come home with him. Scarlett is jealous because Melanie has obtained enough gray broadcloth to make Ashley a new coat and is giving it to him for Christmas. Scarlett tries to think of a way that she could get one of Rhett’s many hats and dress it up for him from herself. Instead she cuts up a shawl to make a sash for him.
Scarlett spends the week trying unsuccessfully to maneuver a few minutes
alone with Ashley; on the day he is leaving, she waits downstairs for
him. She begs to go to the train with him, but he refuses. Ultimately
she gives him both a hat and the sash and promises that she would do anything
for him. He responds by asking her to look after Melanie. As he reaches
the door she dashes after him and begs him to kiss her goodbye. He does
so, losing control for a brief minute as she wraps her arms around his
neck in a strangle hold. Then he pushes her away and says good-bye, ignoring
her protestations of love for him. She imagines that she sees love for
her in his face, but that it is coupled with shame and despair.
Ashley's behavior creates confusion. Is he secretly in love with Scarlett as she believes, or does his sense of honor merely create a dilemma in that he cannot bring himself to hurt her by telling her that he doesn't love her? He does seem to be unable to resist her, but I think it is something more complicated than a neglected or denied love affair.
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Ruff, Dr. KSC. "TheBestNotes on Gone With the Wind".
. 09 May 2017