Free Study Guide - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell|
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FREE BOOK NOTES SUMMARY - GONE WITH THE WIND
Scarlett returns to Tara to recuperate. Meanwhile Rhett creates a plot to loan Ashley the money to buy Scarlett’s mills. Melanie can’t bring herself to tell an outright lie to her husband, so Rhett arranges to mail the money from an "unidentified" source. When Scarlett returns to Atlanta, Rhett plays a bit of reverse psychology in telling Scarlett that Ashley came over to buy the mills, but he told him that she wouldn’t sell because she could never be happy unless she had her fingers in everyone else’s business. Scarlett responds angrily and blurts out that of course she will sell the mills to Ashley. She immediately regrets her words, but cannot back out.
That night she completes the sale of the mills. She overhears Ashley
telling Rhett that the convicts will all go back. She and Ashley argue
about it, but Ashley does not believe happiness can come from the misery
of others. She reminds them of how poor they were during the war and of
all that money has done for them, but when challenged by Rhett, she cannot
bring herself to say that her money has actually made her happy.
For the duration of the story, Rhett has criticized Scarlett for any attempt to help Ashley or to give him any of the money he loans her. Now he helps Ashley himself. One reason is that Scarlett no longer needs the money she gets from the mills, and he wants to get her out of the environment that should be for men only. Another is that he has gotten better acquainted with Ashley as the two of them worked together to dissolve the Klan. They share similar views on many issues although the background of those views may be different. It will give Ashley a chance to be independent and will also give them a means of sending back the convicts.
Finally, it will eliminate any chance Scarlett might have to see Ashley
alone, although Rhett knows by this time that there is nothing physical
between Ashley and Scarlett. Finally, it rewards Melanie for her years
of loyalty and sacrifice.
By 1871, the corruption of Bullock’s regime has become so rampant that his administration collapses on itself. Scarlett is a bit disarmed during the days of political upheaval but not by the politics. Rhett has been coming home sober every night and treats her with unusual, if impersonal, courtesy. She asks him if he is involved with the Klan, but he explains that he and Ashley convinced the members of the Klan to dissolve the organization as it was causing more harm than good. The exchange has been a watch and wait strategy. Meanwhile, Rhett has switched obviously to the Democratic Party and has given large sums of money in support of legitimate activities such as the campaign of a new Democratic governor.
In October, Governor Bullock resigns and flees Georgia, followed by
many of his supporters who have also been friends of Scarlett's and frequent
guests in her house. With the election, Georgia is again in the hands
of her own people.
Rhett's timing in switching to the Democratic Party is perfect and more true
to his real feelings than his previous associations had been. Scarlett
is gradually being pushed back toward Tara as she has few friends among
the old Atlanta people and has lost many that she had counted among the
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. 09 May 2017