Free Study Guide - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell|
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CHAPTER NOTES FOR GONE WITH THE WIND
Everyone had a part in the child's death, although Scarlett at first blames Rhett. The coachman taught the pony to jump, per Rhett's instruction, although the pony didn't like jumping and had not practiced with the bar at a higher level. Rhett gives in to the child too easily. Scarlett is a little too proud of her daughter's horsemanship; and Mammy was the one who insisted that the four year old should be taught to ride sidesaddle rather than astride in front of her father.
Rhett drinks to drown his own grief, and in his drunken state focuses
on Bonnie's fear of the dark. They have always had to leave a lamp burning
in her room at night because she was afraid in the dark. Rhett can't bring
himself to put Bonnie in the grave because there will be no light there.
Melanie is able to reach him when no one else can; they have an intimacy
born of previous grief when Scarlett was ill and Rhett reached out to
Melanie. Rather than argue with him over the issue of darkness, she quietly
agrees to sit with Bonnie and keep the lights on for her. We are never
told, however, what ruse she uses to get him to allow the burial.
Once Bonnie is gone, Rhett returns to his drinking and stays drunk most
of the time. Scarlett longs to tell him that she doesn’t blame him for
Bonnie’s death, and she would gladly give him another child or a dozen
children if she could take the blank, haunted look from his eyes, but
there never seems to be a convenient time. She leaves her bedroom door
invitingly ajar, but he never approaches.
Although Scarlett has not yet verbalized her feelings, her actions show
that she does love Rhett, even to the point of being willing to give him
another child. But she can't talk to him because he stays drunk. He ignores
the open bedroom door, putting their intentions at cross-purposes again.
Melanie becomes ill and dies. On her deathbed, she calls for Scarlett
and asks her to take care of little Beau and Ashley. With her last breath,
she tells Scarlett to be good to Rhett because he "loves you so."
Scarlett agrees although she is torn by guilt and grief. She goes to Ashley
who has finally realized that he loved his wife all along. Scarlett berates
him for not telling her years ago instead of stringing her along with
talk of honor and duty. She is grateful that at least Melanie never knew
there was anything between her and Ashley. However, she finds it ironic
that now that she would have a chance to marry Ashley, she doesn’t want
him. She thinks that she has only been in love with an idea-a dream into
which she made Ashley fit. Now she is saddled with his well being when
she wouldn’t care if she never saw him again.
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Ruff, Dr. KSC. "TheBestNotes on Gone With the Wind".
. 09 May 2017