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The Character of Scarlet in Gone With the Wind

The Character of Scarlet in Gone With the Wind

“My Dear, I don’t give a damn,” (718) Rhett Butler says this infamous quote to Scarlet O’Hara at the end of Gone With the Wind (1934), when the woman has finally poured her soul to him. The novel Gone with the Wind (1934) by Margaret Mitchell is a classic about the hard times suffered during and after the Civil War. Scarlet lives in the Confederacy and everyone there is for fighting for his or her noble Cause. The young southern belle Scarlet O’Hara is forced to do things she never thought a girl of her class and nature would have to do. All throughout the novel, she is faced with serious problems. Scarlet plainly states, I’ll not think of that today, I’ll think of it tomorrow, for tomorrow is another day, which of course she never does. It is this thought however, that makes her character stay strong, although sometimes living in a daydream. Without telling herself this, Scarlet would have broken down in the very beginning after the war had started. Scarlet lives for the future and not the past. It’s this about her that makes her character admirable and noble

At first the reader would think Scarlet’s character is snobbish and helpless. Through her determination, she forces others to change their opinion of her. In the beginning, she is a young, beautiful sixteen -year old, with a seventeen-inch waist, the smallest in the county. At parties, she never has less than a dozen young men surrounding her, all of whom she never lets know whom she truly loves. The other girls find Scarlet heartless, the way she leads all those boys on, but Scarlet pays no mind to them. She knows they are just bitter with jealousy. She does truly love Ashley Wilkes, but he is to announce his enga…

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…d a cause of her own. While many characters in the book fought and died for the great Cause, she cared more about her own. Scarlet had to care for Tara and her family. Although many see her as repulsive, by looking at her acts, she made herself strong with words. The once young and carefree girl was forced to marry for money, not for love, twice. When Scarlet finally let her only true love in life, Rhett Butler, know how she felt about him, she realizes all too late how horrid she’s acted, he finally puts Scarlet in her place by stating “My dear, I don’t give a damn.”

At these words, Scarlet still does not break down. After all she has been through she knows what to do. She tells her self that tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow she will get Rhett back.

Works Cited

Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. NewYork: The Macmillan Company,1994

Essay on Images of Africans in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

Images of Africans in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

In my reading of Things Fall Apart, it has better informed me of a culture that I did not know of before, and by reading it helped correct some broad misconceptions that I previously held of the people and their cultures of Africa. Reading the novel also gave me another perspective on the effects of imperialism/colonialism by the Europeans on the Africans. I believe Achebe has succeeded in enabling the West an opportunity to have them “listen to the weak” (Achebe interview), but whether or not Western society decides to listen will come down to the individual within the society–if they do choose to listen to the call of the “weak.” In this essay I will share realizations that I gained by reading Achebe’s novel, and how I came to view the people of the Igbo and Africa and not so different as I had thought before.

The distinct writing style that Achebe used to narrate his novel led me, as the reader, to feel as if I were a fellow tribesman of the Igbo people. This differing perspective, rather than being an outsider looking in on the people, led me to see that the Igbos are a people with strong beliefs, culture, and identity. An example of their identity is the description of one of their dwellings, more specifically of Okonkwo’s compound; it is described as a “large compound enclosed by a thick wall of red earth” and we read further on about the barn for Okonkwo’s yams and the shed for his goats (1429). The Igbo people are obviously agrarian, and led me to the question, how different are they from us? My answer is, there are not a lot of differenes. Based upon my experience–my father was raised on a farm–I see stark similarities between us and them…

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…people of Umuofia could not have forecasted, with the exception of the oracle, that they would have fallen due to the white man and his religion, but I believe we can derive a couple of reasons why they fell and apply it to our own society.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed Achebe’s novel and liked the contrast between it and Conrad’s work of Heart of Darkness. I believe there are times that, in order to see the extremes of something, you must contrast it to its opposite extreme. As a former moderate of beliefs on colonialism and those who proselytize their religion onto others, I realize now the dire impact those acts can have on a naive or vulnerable culture, and I now disagree with those practices. Finally, I heed the “call of the weak” for I hear the quiet but powerful voice that says, “We are a people too…” and I know the truth of the message!

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