Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gone With The Wind

Scarlett O'Hara is the daughter of an Irish immigrant who in 1861 owns a plantation named Tara in Georgia. Scarlett marries two men she does not love, all the while infatuated with Ashley Wilkes, who has married his cousin, Melanie Hamilton. At the party announcing Ashley's engagement to Melanie, Scarlett meets Rhett Butler, who has a reputation as a rogue. As the Civil War begins, Scarlett accepts a proposal of marriage from Melanie's brother, Charles Hamilton, who soon dies of disease in training. Scarlett's main concern regarding his death is that she must wear black and cannot attend parties. After the war, Scarlett inherits Tara and manages to keep the place going. When Scarlett cannot get money from Rhett to pay the taxes on Tara, she marries her sister's fiance, Frank Kennedy, takes control of his business, and increases its profitability with business practices that make many Atlantans resent her. Frank is killed when he and other Ku Klux Klan members raid a shantytown where Scarlet was assaulted while driving alone. Remorseful after Frank's death, Scarlett marries Rhett, who is aware of her passion for Ashley but hopes that one day she will come to love him instead. Scarlett eventually comes to realize that she does love Rhett, but only once the couple has been through so much that Rhett has fallen out of love with her.

The series begins with Scarlett attending the funeral of her ex-sister-in-law and rival for Ashley Wilkes' affection, Melanie Wilkes, at which her estranged husband, Rhett Butler, is not present. Scarlett, heartbroken that Rhett has left her, sets out for Tara and is saddened when she learns that Mammy, her mainstay since birth, is dying. When she arrives at Tara, she sends a telegram to notify Rhett about Mammy under the name of Will Benteen (her sister Suellen's husband), because she knows that Rhett won't come if he suspects Scarlett is there. Before Mammy passes away she makes Rhett swear to look after "her lamb" Miss Scarlett. Rhett agrees, although he has no intention of honoring the request. After Mammy passes away, Rhett and Scarlett have another snipe-filled encounter, which culminates in Rhett leaving and Scarlett returning to the Atlanta house, determined to win Rhett back.