Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Review #677 - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Part Four: Chapters 32-45)

This is Part Four of my review. Part Three can be found here

My Rating: N/A

These chapters deal with the struggles Scarlett faces now that the war has ended. Scarlett had expected her life and her finances to improve and instead they have worsened. 

When the Yankees, who are trying to get the Southerners off the land raise the taxes on Tara to an amount Scarlett cannot pay, she seeks Ashley's advice. He is unable to help her. 

During this time I felt that Ashley was the female character, and Scarlett the male. It is Scarlett who is financially supporting Ashley and his young family. Scarlett also states that she couldn't bear to see Ashley having to do manual labour, the work she undertakes herself. 

Some good does come of her conversation though as she realises that Tara is the most important part of her life. 

Looking for financial aid, Scarlett goes to see Rhett. When she discovers he is in prison, she thinks it will be easier to get the money from him. She ends up offering herself up to be his mistress, a role that she turned down in the past. This shows just how desperate she is to save Tara and how in her desperation to save Tara, she is willing to lose all the morals her upbringing afforded to her. 

After Rhett rejects her, Scarlett returns to her endlessly selfish ways buy lying to her sister's wealthy betrothed in order to con him into marrying her in exchange for him paying the exuberant taxes over Tara. 

It wasn't so much her actions that bothered me over this, it is the fact that she had absolutely no guilt over it.  

While Scarlett seems to adapt well to the new way of post-war life, entirely motivated by money, the rest of Atlanta are clinging to the old way of life, including Scarlett's new husband. 

This is none more evident that when Scarlett sees that wood is a much needed product in the post-war life of rebuilding that she decides to open a mill while the rest of the town is horrified that a woman is working especially when she continues to work throughout her pregnancy. 

Racial tensions are high with the introduction of the Ku Klux Klan. The story is told from the South's perspective and so the KKK is portrayed as more as protectors rather than the racist extremists we know them as today. 

As much as Scarlett hates the Yankees, she works with them which further angers the town. This further shows just how much more Scarlett values money over morals. 

Scarlett returns to Tara after her father's death where she has to deal with the consequences of betraying her sister. 

Scarlett again confronts Ashley, this time getting his wife Melanie to unknowingly aid her in emotionally blackmailing him to work for her at her mill. Ashley had plans to go North to work in a bank but Scarlett wanted him close to her. This selfish decision seems to break what was left of Ashley's spirit. 

Not long after giving birth to her daughter Ella, Scarlett is attacked by a free slave as she is travelling around alone as her actions have isolated her from everyone. 

Ashley and Frank unbeknownst to Scarlett are members of the KKK and after she is attacked, they seek revenge. 

When they return Scarlett is too worried about Ashley's gunshot wound that she fails to notice that Frank did not return. 

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