Ultimate Love Story - Gone With the Wind

What is the title?: Gone with the Wind, an American classical novel and film detailing the love affair between an emotionally manipulative woman and a playfully mischievous man.

Who is the author?: Margaret Mitchell, an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 after publishing Gone with the Wind.

What type of work is Gone with the Wind?: A novel that was later depicted in a motion picture.

What is the genre?: Romance, historical fiction, and bildungsroman, or a storyline that carefully depicts the main character's maturation.

What is the novel's language? Gone with the Wind was written in English.

When and where was the novel written?: In the continental United States, more specifically in Atlanta GA from 1926 to 1936.

When and Who published the novel?: Gone with the Wind was published in 1936 by Houghton Mifflin.

Who was the narrator?: The narrator holds anonymity while speaking in the third person. The narrator also has the ability to access the thoughts, emotions, and personal histories of all the characters, and possesses the understanding of the context and consequences of the events in the novel.

What is novel's point of view?: The narrator knows the whereabouts of Scarlett and may revert to giving historical accounts and character analysis.

What is the narrator's tone? The narrator carries a serious tone while addressing the characters. Contrarily, the narrator criticizes the characters for taking themselves too seriously.

What is the setting?: The storyline holds a past-tense account with a setting taking place in 1861 to early 1870s in Atlanta. More specifically, the setting takes place in Tara, an O'Hara plantation in the northern regions of Georgia.

Who is the protagonist?: In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara is the protagonist.

What is the major conflict in the plot-line?: Scarlett O'Hara, a love-struck hopeless romantic, strives to find her soul mate. Scarlett bounces between Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler in an effort to find her elusive desire. Scarlett also struggles with the changes taking place in the South.

What is the rising action of the plot-line?: Scarlett unleashes her love on to Ashley Wilkes while simultaneously marrying Rhett Butler. Scarlett and Ashley's embrace grows stronger.

What is the story-line's climax?: Bonnie dies while horseback riding, which essentially destroys the relationship between Rhett and Scarlett.

What is the falling action?: Scarlett's miscarriage resulting from a trip down the staircase, and Rhett's confession to Melanie of his love for Scarlett begin the decline from the climatic point of the novel. Melanie's death, Scarlett's realization for her love to Rhett, and Rhett's abandonment of Scarlett also contribute to the falling action of the novel.

What are the themes in Gone with the Wind?: There are several themes in Gone with the Wind, including the ever-growing transformation of the South, conquering adversity, and a focus on the significance of the land.

What are the novel's motifs?: The recurrent thematic elements in Gone with the Wind, include female intelligence, alcohol abuse, and prostitution.

What are the novel's symbols: Rhett Butler and Atlanta.

Is there foreshadowing present in the novel?: Gerald O'Hara's foolish horse-jumping outlined in Chapter 2 serves as a foreshadowing element to the reckless behavior that would eventually lead to his and his daughter, Bonnie Blue's death later on in the novel.

Gone with the Wind: Plot Summary

Gone With the Wind begins with Scarlett O'Hara's flirtatiousness with two other men. Scarlett's seductiveness has always enraptured men. The local BBQ at Twelve Oaks, the Wilkes' plantation right across from Tara, the O'Hara plantation, becomes the opening dialogue before meeting Gerald O'Hara on the road from the Wilkes' plantation. Scarlett interrogates Gerald for information regarding the alleged marriage proposal from Ashley Wilkes to his cousin Melanie. Gerald verifies the rumors as fact, which sends Scarlett into a fury and a fight ensues between Scarlett and Mammy, her slave.

Scarlett finds herself swarmed with attention after arriving at Twelve Oaks. All of the women resent Scarlett except for Melanie. Meanwhile, Ashley Wilkes and Melanie talk about the planned wedding while overlooking the garden. Scarlett sits beneath a tree surrounded by men, and feels enamored by the attention before spying on Ashley and Melanie together.

Scarlett sneaks out when all of the girls nap in order to eavesdrop on the conversation regarding the men going to war. All of the residents believe the war will end victoriously for the South because "everyone knows that southern gentlemen are worth more than ten Yankees." However, Rhett Butler dissents by asserting that the war will be hard-fought. This dissension sparks a huge confrontation, which has Ashley following Rhett on his way out of the meeting place. Scarlett isolates Ashley before he gets to Rhett in the library to confess her undying love for him. Ashley responds by confirming his love for her, but says a clash of differences will not allow them to be together. Rhett Butler reveals himself after Ashley leaves the library, therefore hinting to the audience that he knew about the confession between the two lovers. Despite the melodrama, Melanie defends Scarlett in front of a room full of girls spreading gossip to one another.

The war commences, which prompts all the men to enlist. Scarlett accepts a marriage proposal from Charles Hamilton in an effort to incite jealousy in Ashley. Ashley and Melanie, plus Charles and Scarlett marry side-by-side in a double wedding. However, Charles dies of pneumonia during the war in 1862, which leaves Scarlett widowed. Scarlett departs to Atlanta to live with Melanie and her Aunt Pittypat. Scarlett runs into Rhett during a charity dance for the Rebel army. Despite Rhett's earlier eavesdropping, he bids one hundred fifty dollars to dance with her, which sparks controversy among the crowd since she was recently widowed. This romantic introduction allowed the reunited pair to intimately embrace each other again.

During the holiday break of 1863, Ashley asks Scarlett to watch Melanie. Scarlett and Melanie volunteer to help the fallen soldiers. Melanie refuses a donation from Belle Whatling, a brothel owner. This donation came wrapped in a handkerchief that was once owned by Rhett Butler. Sherman attacks Atlanta in 1864, which causes everyone to flee the city. Scarlett's slave Big Sam tells her that her mama is sick, which prompts Scarlett to find her. Rhett rescues Scarlett from refugee traffic on her way to see her mom. Rhett proposes that the both of them should run away to Mexico. Scarlett declines and says that she needs to get back to Tara. Melanie is pregnant and unsuitable for journeying.

Under siege, Atlanta stays on the alert for Yankees. Melanie starts her labor pangs, and Scarlett searches for Dr. Mead for delivery; however, he's caught up with dying and injured soldiers that need his attention. Scarlett chooses to become Melanie's midwife. Melanie gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Beau. Scarlett sends Prissy to find Rhett to get him to bring the horse and carriage. Rhett, Scarlett, Melanie and Prissy venture back to Tara, which forces them to cross through fires ignited by the retreating Confederate army. Brigands make an attempt to intercept the horse and carriage from Rhett before escaping. Rhett gets them to Tara before returning back to the war.

After arriving back to Tara, Scarlett gets Melanie and the new baby boy back to Twelve Oaks, but must retreat back to Tara because the Yankees destroyed it. Tara, still intact, has a little damage, but manages to still remain standing. Scarlett abandons the carriage, runs towards the house to meet her father, and realizes that he has lost his mind. The house was looted, and her mother had died. However, Scarlett's father still thinks she's alive. Scarlett vows, "As God as my witness, I will never go hungry again!"

While Scarlett picks cotton outside in the fields of Tara, a Yankee intrudes the Tara residence in attempt to steal what's left of their money. In defense, Scarlett kills the Yankee intruder and seizes his looted money.

After the war ends in 1865, Frank Kennedy proposes to Suellen and Ashley returns to Tara. He returns to Tara at the most dire time, when the Yankees have jacked up taxes, thus making it impossible to pay. Scarlett confesses her love for Ashley once again, and Ashley retorts that he admires her fearlessness before kissing Scarlett. Ashley asks Scarlett to leave Tara, but she denies claiming that she has too much tied into the barn. Emmy Slattery and Mr. Wilkerson offer to buy the barn, but Scarlett tells them to leave immediately. Gerald climbs onto his horse to chase them away, but he falls off and dies while jumping.

Scarlett visits Rhett in Atlanta to ask him for the three hundred dollars to pay in taxes. Scarlett assembles a dress made out of curtains and takes off to see him. However, Rhett is in jail and explains that he can not give her any money because it's tucked away in Europe. Out of desperation, Scarlett marries Frank Kennedy for the three hundred dollars and then starts a lumber business with Ashley. Scarlett finds herself surrounded and attacked by hobos while moving to the mill; however, Big Sam enters to rescue her.

The women gather together later on that night and then India confronts Scarlett about all of the rotten things she has done. Meanwhile, the men hunt down the hobos that attacked Scarlett, but Rhett tries to stop them from doing it unsuccessfully. Ashley was shot and Frank Kennedy was killed, thus making Scarlett widowed for the second time. Rhett conjures up a lie to get Ashley inside of Belle Whately's house.

Scarlett and Rhett reconcile and he asks her marry him again. Scarlett accepts the marriage proposal, and they embark on their honeymoon in New Orleans. Once arriving in New Orleans, Scarlett feels the urgency to return back to Tara. The newlyweds build a mansion in Atlanta, and Scarlett gives birth to a baby girl named "Bonnie Blue" Butler. Scarlett refuses to have any more children because her heart still belongs to Ashley. Rhett leaves Scarlett, but returns on behalf of his daughter. Rhett gets drunk one night and decides to rid of Ashley from her mind once and for all.

Rhett apologizes for his erratic behavior and takes Bonnie to London. Once arriving, Bonnie says she hates it in London and wants to go back home to see her mother. Rhett takes Bonnie back home and says he's leaving. Scarlett explains to him that she's pregnant again. They both said that they don't want the baby. Scarlett falls down the stairs in order to induce a miscarriage. Melanie and Rhett watch Bonnie jump from her horse and die in the same manner that Gerald had done earlier.

Mammy asks for Melanie's assistance after Bonnie's death; however, Melanie fell feverish, falls in her house never to recover, and dies shortly thereafter. Scarlett finally realizes that her love for Ashley never existed, and that she actually loves Rhett. She begs Rhett not to leave, but he snarls, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." Scarlett vows to get him back by returning to Tara once again to think and regain her strength.

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