Gone With The Wind And The Reconstruction American History Essay

579 words - 3 pages

Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War classic, Gone With The Wind, gives us a vivid picture of the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction. It follows the leading character, Scarlet O’Hara, who can be seen as a symbol of the South itself. Before the war, Scarlett lives a life of luxury which was typical of many southern belles of the time. She is very snooty, spoiled and led by the rules of the southern aristocracy. While Scarlett is very concerned about manners and what people think, she is also very confident, strong-willed and independent. She loves Tara and the earth more than anything in the world. During the war, Scarlett and Melanie are volunteer at a hospital to help in the cause. They work as would be nurses taking care of wounded soldiers, something that high-class southern women would never do before the war. After the war, Scarlett returns to Tara to find it destroyed but still standing. Yankee soldiers had taken everything leaving the O’Hara family broke and starving. Scarlett is hardened by the war and vows that she will never be poor or hungry again. She is driven by money and will do anything to get to to ensure her survival and the survival of Tara. She even married her sister’s boyfriend, Frank Kennedy, to get the $300 needed to pay the taxes on Tara imposed by the Yankee carpetbaggers during the Reconstruction. Scarlett becomes a shrewd business woman. She makes Frank’s business thrive and even refuses credit to her neighbors telling them the war is over. She buys a sawmill and runs it efficiently. When it comes to husband number three, Rhett Butler, she marries him for his money...

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