Scarlett O’Hara is a very selfish young woman. Her father has built from scratch, the beautiful Tara Plantation. He won the deed to the plantation in a card game, and slowly built it to the prosperous plantation and wealthy standing Scarlett enjoys. Her world revolves around pretty dresses, parties, and flirting. Her intention is to have every young man in the surrounding area falling over her, but the one she really wants, is the one that she cannot get.
The talk of war has been on everyone’s lips for months, and while most heed what is being said, Scarlett can’t stand hearing about it. It sounds depressing and not at all something that she would enjoy, so she refuses to think about it. When her world is rocked with the announcement of Ashley and Melanie’s engagement, she is determined to win him, or make him so jealous, he will declare his love for her. Instead she marries Charles Hamilton, Melanie’s brother, just to spite him. Poor Charles is so in love with Scarlett, he cannot see the insecurities and the fact that she does not love him. Fortunately, he will never know. Charles leaves for the war, but before the fighting can really start, he is struck down by illness, leaving Scarlett a widow… and pregnant! With the outbreak of the war, and the beginnings of shortages already appearing in the South, there will not be any merriment for any length of time.
With the birth of her son, and not being happy where she is, she departs for Atlanta to stay with Melanie and Aunt Pittypat. There she begins to find some enjoyment in life again, and can pretty much forget that she is a mother. She feels no attachment to her son, as in her view, she is only 18 and should be enjoying life, not being tied down and forced to wear widow’s weeds. When she runs back into Rhett Butler, she feels some semblance of excitement in her life. She knows that he is not someone she should be seen with, but yet, there is something that draws her to his presence whenever he is around. But through all her flirting and anger with Rhett, she loves Ashley still. No matter that he is married to another woman, her own sister in law, all that can be changed!
This week we are reading CHAPTERS 1-15
- Scarlett has not forward thinking for any of her plans. She is quite impetuous. Do you think she could have saved herself a lot of grief by heading her mother’s advice more?
- After her marriage and the birth of her son, Scarlett has no inclination to show any attachment to her son. Do you think those around her might have been more concerned with that than her lack of eating?
- Social convention of the times dictated that a woman wear widow’s weeds for at least three years after her husbands death, but Scarlett is determined to buck convention. Was there maybe a better way to go about doing so than what she did?