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Free Study Guide - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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1. At the end of the story, Scarlett says that she was in love with Rhett all along but just didn't realize it? She also believes that she built a romantic figure around Ashley and was never actually in love with him at all. Was her love for Ashley real or merely a fantasy? Does she transfer her love to Rhett, or did she actually love Rhett from the start?

2. Discuss the contradictions regarding Rhett. Is he truly a "bad" character?

3. Analyze the character of Melanie Wilkes in terms of static/dynamic, round/flat.

4. Analyze the character of Mammy.

5. Discuss the various factors on the parts of both Scarlett and the women of Atlanta that contribute to Scarlett's alienation.

6. Scarlett undergoes many changes in the course of the novel. Discuss these changes and tell whether they are for the better or for worse.

7. Scarlett and Rhett are frequently at cross-purposes when it comes to understand each other. Discuss the mistakes that each makes in their failed marriage.

8. When the war first starts, the southern people regard it with almost a romantic idealism in spite of the number of southern boys who get killed. Discuss the changes that are gradually brought about. At what point does the war become a "thing of terror" for the southerners?

9. Research the history of the Ku Klux Klan. Write an essay in which you discuss how the group actually developed and compare its activities with the way they are presented in the novel.

10. Analyze the importance of Tara in Scarlett's life and to the novel as a whole.


Ku Klux Klan - An organization of white Southerners who fought the controls of the temporary, federally imposed government.

Scalawags - Southerners who sided with the blacks and carpetbaggers.

Carpetbaggers - Northerners who moved into the south after the war

Corset - A type of girdle worn by girls that bound their waste with rods made from bone.

Placidity - Calmness

Convalescent - A person recovering from injury or illness

Ordnance - A term used for military supply, particularly weapons or ammunition

Insolence - Defiance or scorn

Scrupulous - Meticulous or very proper

Ragamuffin - A person who looks ragged or dirty

Inveigled - Tricked or wrangled something out of someone

Washboard - A large flat board with ridges on it; used by women to scrub clothes

Earbobs - A period term for earrings

Pilfering - Stealing

Tenterhooks - On nerve's edge

Denuded - Stripped

The Reconstruction - A period after the Civil War when the federal government tried to rebuild the economy and lifestyle of the southern states.

Capitulate - To give in or give up

"crush" - A period word for a party; usually lasted all night

Disenfranchised - To be stripped of ones rights

Basque - The upper part of a woman's dress, very close fitting bodice

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Free BookNotes Summary

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Ruff, Dr. KSC. "TheBestNotes on Gone With the Wind". . 09 May 2017