Scarlett O'Hara

@sissy15 (12269)
United States
March 25, 2024 11:47pm CST
I started reading Scarlett the sequel to Gone with the Wind. The interesting thing about Scarlett O'Hara is despite how terrible of a person she is you still can't help rooting for her. She is selfish and a terrible mother but there's still part of you that wants her to get it together. She may be a terrible person but she is also strong and takes care of her family even if it is only out of obligation and not love. She spent so much time hating Melanie because she thought she loved Ashley and Melanie had Ashley. Throughout Gone with the Wind, you could tell Scarlett did like Melanie in her own weird self centered way. She of course didn't realize it until it was too late much the same way she didn't realize her love for Rhett until it was too late. Scarlett is far from weak and does everything in her power to keep surviving. She pushes away all negative thoughts until "tomorrow" which seldom comes and lives in her fantasy world where things fall into place and she is figures out that they don't and won't fall into place then she summons the strength to do what needs to be done no matter the expense to herself or others. She does what it takes to survive. As much as you want to hate the character there's always this part of you that roots for her. There's just enough likability in her to stay clinging even when you'd love to smack some sense into her. She is such a flawed character and most of the time is not a lovable one, yet you keep hoping she'll get it together. The interesting thing about Scarlett is that despite all of the harshness and loathing she has towards those around her she'd also do anything in her power to make sure everyone survives. She did whatever it took to survive even if it meant humbling herself, but she never stayed humbled. She fought to get to the top and she did whatever it took to stay there. She had people talking about her and how unladylike she was. Women just didn't do things like run businesses and take care of themselves. They needed a man and Scarlett proved she could do it on her own. If the character of Scarlett had been born in this time she'd be a pioneer and a CEO of some corporate enterprise. That said if she had been born today she'd also probably be one of the most hated women in America. Scarlett was strong yes, but had no clue what it was like to truly love someone enough to put her own greed and selfishness aside. Scarlett is so well written in that as much as you hate her you also like her. It's tough to find a character you can both hate and admire who you want to see both fail and succeed and Margaret Mitchell really wrote the character well. You see her love for those she truly cares about like her parents and Mammy and you see her hatred towards her sisters. You see as she both loves and hates Melanie. You can tell her love for Ashley is superficial and you see as she falls in love with Rhett while still clinging to Ashley because "loving" Ashley was a reflex. Scarlett is such a complex character. I'm reading Scarlett and while so far I like it you can tell Margaret Mitchell didn't write it. There's just a different feeling to the character of Scarlett. You can definitely see some of Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett in there but there's still something missing. I know in Scarlett she is trying to redeem herself and after she has lost so many people it is bound to change her but there's just something different. It's not simply because she's a changed person because there is definitely some of that selfish Scarlett in there but there's a difference in the character that is simply because she is being written by a different author. I don't hate the story but it's not a smooth transition from one book to the next you'd expect from the same author. I'm still enjoying the book but I do wish Margaret Mitchell had written a sequel but from my understanding, she had never planned one. She had always planned for Gone with the Wind to be a stand alone book. We were meant to be left to our own imaginations as to what happened after Rhett walked out.
4 people like this
4 responses
@MarieCoyle (29711)
26 Mar
I truly enjoyed that book. Of course, Gone With The Wind will always be a favorite of mine. Scarlett is so very stubborn, so very determined. Like her father, Gerald. She loved and worshipped her mother, but had her mother on a pedestal of being an angel, or a person not really of this earth. Ellen was complex as well, and like Scarlett, appears to have spent her life grieving and longing for a man her family wouldn't let her marry. Ellen wanted Phillippe, and Scarlett thought she wanted Ashley. Neither Scarlett or Ellen got the man they thought they wanted, which of course caused them to be with the ones they were with. Rhett was perfect for Scarlett. He saw through her completely, and yet loved her for who and what she was. I am a Gone With The Wind nut...I cannot tell you how many times I have read the book. I do wish the movie had followed the book a bit better, but I suppose it's the way it is due to the amount of complicated characters, and so forth. I did feel that baby Wade should have been in the movie, and Ella as well. But it is what it is.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (12269)
• United States
26 Mar
I feel the difference is that Scarlett truly did come to love Rhett in a way that Ellen never truly loved Gerald. Ellen loved him but not in the kind of romantic way one is supposed to love a husband. Scarlett did love Rhett that way but didn't realize it until it was too late. Rhett was perfect for Scarlett and I wish Margaret Mitchell could have written the sequel. I agree about the movie. I too feel at least the kids should have been in the movie. There were a lot of changes in the movie and a lot of parts where the words were said but not in the correct scenes. I loved the movie and I feel like they couldn't have cast a better Rhett than Clark Gable. I watched the movie Scarlett years later and I would rather forget it. Timothy Dalton just did not do Rhett justice. I do love the book more though. I'm still making my way through Scarlett. It just isn't the same as Gone with the Wind though.
1 person likes this
@MarieCoyle (29711)
26 Mar
@sissy15 Yes, Ellen left her family to go with Gerald, as she couldn't have her Phillippe. Just think of how very young she was to go so far. Of course, she did have Mammy, her mainstay, who loved her very much and pretty much functioned as her mother, but still...and then to bury the 3 baby boys, one at a time...the idea that someone that young could build a family and be a mainstay, says a lot. No, it's just not the same, I do wish Margaret had written a sequel, too. I didn't care for the Scarlett movie like I did Gone With The Wind. Vivian Leigh was the perfect Scarlett, full of herself and full of contradictions as well.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (12269)
• United States
26 Mar
@MarieCoyle It is insane that she was basically a child herself marrying a man who could have been her father and then going through the trauma she went through all at such a young age is a lot. I agree Vivian Leigh was the perfect Scarlett. The movie was very well cast, unlike Scarlett. Sequels seldom are as good as the originals especially when the sequel isn't even written by the same person. I feel like when you're trying to do a sequel many years later and the original actors are no longer alive you are probably going to be off to a bad start. I was reading Clark Gable's biography (still reading because apparently I like reading multiple books at once) and it talked about how Clark was talking to Margaret Mitchell at a party and he got frustrated that he wasn't able to talk to her without everyone around and be uninterrupted so he picked up Margaret and walked her into another room and closed the door. They said they never did know what he talked to her about but the speculation was that he probably asked her if she wrote that character with him in mind as Rhett and at one time she was quoted as saying the only person she would tell that too is Gable himself. I feel like that tells you just how suited to play Rhett Butler Clark Gable really was. Carole Lombard is the one who originally tried to convince him to play Rhett but he didn't originally want the part thanks to the flop of the other historical drama he was in (Parnell) so Gone with the Wind made him nervous. Carole had originally given him the book to read and he eventually did read it and enjoy it but still didn't want to play the part. She originally wanted to play the part of Scarlett but clearly, that didn't happen and it's probably for the best it didn't. Carole Lombard was an amazing actress but there are parts that are just suited for other people. I now can't think of anyone else playing either Rhett or Scarlett. Some people are just meant for certain parts.
1 person likes this
@RebeccasFarm (86984)
• United States
27 Mar
She was a powerful actress and so perfect for the role.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (12269)
• United States
27 Mar
I agree, just as Clark was the perfect Rhett. I read the book with them in my mind as the characters.
@psanasangma (6131)
• India
26 Mar
Ahhh!! I read this novel 2 decades ago and what I concluded after reading was that what an Unique and strong character unlike others, seems situations and circumstances has makes her this way.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (12269)
• United States
26 Mar
Yes, there were definite situations that changed her character throughout the book but she was always strong but situations definitely brought this out of her and taught her who she could and couldn't rely on. I feel like the core of Scarlett never completely changed just different aspects of her personality. She was always a strong character but she learned her own strength throughout the book.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (135294)
• Roseburg, Oregon
26 Mar
The book sounds really good. I am glad that you enjoyed reading it.
1 person likes this