Free Study Guide - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell|
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FREE STUDY GUIDE FOR GONE WITH THE WIND
Scarlett sends Prissy from place to place in search of a doctor or midwife
to help with Melanie. The little slave manages to find out that there
is fighting at Jonesboro and the confederates are losing, but she is unable
to find a midwife. Finally Scarlett goes out herself. From Peachtree Street
to Five points, the streets are crowded with wounded soldiers and with
wagons full of household goods. She stops a soldier who tells her they
have lost at Jonesboro; the army is in full retreat and will soon be evacuating
Atlanta. When she does find Dr. Meade, it is in the middle of a street
lined with bodies of dead and dying men. Dr. Meade refuses to leave the
soldiers, telling her there is nothing much to delivering a baby. Scarlett
returns home to find out that Prissy lied to her and knows nothing about
midwifery, yet the two of them will have to deliver Melanie’s baby.
It is ironic that the same doctor who warned Scarlett that Melanie would probably have a hard time with her delivery, and that he didn't want some midwife doing it, is now sending Scarlett for those very midwives. It should be a symbolic gesture to have new life coming into the world at the very moment when many others are dying, but the world into which that baby is coming is one with little promise and little hope for a happy future. One thing is assured; the new baby will be a part of a new world that will be a series of uncertainties.
Scarlett also gets a taste of her own medicine in finding out that Prissy
has lied to her. Earlier Prissy had told her that she knew all about birthing
babies because she had helped her mother do it many times. The truth is,
she was always sent out of the room when it came time for a birth, so
she actually knows nothing at all about it. This leaves Scarlett as completely
alone as she has ever been up to this time of her life.
The baby boy is finally born and alive in spite of a series of mishaps
due to Prissy’s ineptitude. Late in the evening the last of the soldiers
from the breastwork pass the house, acknowledging to Scarlett that they
are leaving Atlanta and the Yankees are coming. It suddenly dawns on Scarlett
to seek help from Rhett Butler and she sends Prissy to find him.
Scarlett cares much more for Rhett than she is willing to admit. Only a few days previous to this, she had told him to leave and never return, and now she is sending for him. In spite of the horrible way she treats him, she knows that if she needs him, he'll be there.
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Ruff, Dr. KSC. "TheBestNotes on Gone With the Wind".
. 09 May 2017