Too weird that my blog has been without her presence till now. Well here she comes now. Lovely!!
Scarlett O’Hara is a survivor. She has that ability to struggle through trauma to reach tomorrow. Tomorrow, After all tomorrow is another day. This reverberating force of her being makes her the life-like example for people surrounding her for whom she became a support during the war and the reconstruction era. People who hated her shrewd, selfish ways. The same people accolade her by saying that, she is the one who has ‘gumption’, she is the one carrying us through, she is the life that remains after the saga of death that raged their communities.
While her contemporary women are gossiping their lives away, she is following her ambitions, when they are crying haplessly, she is caring for the sickly (albeit unwillingly), while they are starving, she makes the famous resolution ‘God is my witness that, I’ll never be hungry again’, she saves her home, feeds everyone in it, and builds a life for them out of burnt woods.
Her practicality, and overwhelming talents come to exposure, when she comes to Atlanta during reconstruction and runs Frank Kennedy’s factory. Here is where we realize that how out of place and time is this woman situated. She proves to be an awesome business woman. Although too ambitious at times but her opportunism also represents the opportunism of the era she survives in and the hunger that haunts her. Her ambition sometimes also manifest her human weakness as the drive to overcome poverty with her limited means as a woman, take the better of her.
Scarlett is living in the constraints of her world and naturally is an opposite to it. Ms. Mitchell has thrown in terribly contrasting elements at work in one setting and as we see their drama unfold, the complexity of it all make it very difficult to understand to for most people and they are limited to view her through the frames of time, convention and her relationships with men in her life.
As the novel goes, we see her grow and mature. There is never a single instant in the whole book spanning 9-10 years of Scarlett’s life where she hasn’t shown resourcefulness to face the odds. She is the symbol of force that knows how to stand up after falling down.
She starts at the age 16, as believing herself to be in love with chauvinistic aristocrat ‘Ashley Wilkes’ who is attracted to and takes pleasure in Scarlett’s passionate and willful ways. He spoils her and then marries according to design and tradition. Time goes by and she doesn’t manage to come out of her fantasy. As the plot moves through one disaster to the other, she marries and remarries for her betterment (the only respectable profession for women those days).
Rhett Butler mocks her constantly and drives her away from himself. It can be termed as, he never is able to win her although he claims to love her. Scarlett, due to some circumstances, some of her follies and Rhett’s uncaring attitudes is late in discovering her love for him.
Never in the entire novel, we hear Rhett expressing his love to Scarlett properly.
A perfect trajedy, roaring with war and trauma and how profoundly it changes people’s lives. A civilization “Gone with the Wind”. Scarlett is a symbol of that.