Gone with the Wind
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The relationship between Rhett and Scarlett is classic example of intense energy and turbulence, which never manages to become stable and harmonious. See Opposition Level 1 in Scale of Harmony. See the article and videos.
It also illustrates the problems inherent in a relationship based primarily on physical attraction. See Physical Attraction Level 2 in Scale of Romance. See the article and videos.
The quiet, idealized love between Ashley and Melanie is an exceptional example of Mental Love Level 7 in Scale of Romance. See the article and videos.
Their relationship also illustrates the highest level of harmony that can be achieved under the most challenging and impossible external circumstances. See Complementarity Level 10 in Scale of Romance See the article and videos.
Scarlett is a narcissistic plantation belle, the daughter of a French aristocratic mother and an Irish peasant immigrant who managed to acquire a large cotton plantation and a lovely cultured wife. Scarlett inherited her mother’s beauty and manners and her father’s raw energy and ambition. Beneath her polished exterior, she is dynamo of unruly impulses. Although her beauty and flirtatious behavior have enslaved almost every young man in the region, Scarlett longs to marry Ashley Wilkes, the educated son of a distinguished Southern family. Heartbroken when Ashley marries his cousin Melanie instead, Scarlett marries Melanie’s brother just to spite Ashley. When her husband is killed in the war, she marries a store owner for his money, but never abandons her hope of finally winning Ashley for herself.
Scarlett’s only real relationship is with Rhett Butler, the dashing young blockade runner who was disowned by his family and expelled from Charleston for dishonorable behavior. Rhett sees right through Scarlett’s façade of ladylike elegance and knows the ruthless, unscrupulous, wildcat which lies behind her pretty face. Attracted by her energy, strength, courage and beauty, he pursues her first to become his mistress and later his wife. Scarlett’s heart has always been after Ashley. She admires Rhett’s brute strength, his courage to defy society, his tall handsome appearance and his considerable wealth, but she never feels for him anything like true affection.
But the real love story in Gone with the Wind is not between these two selfish, self-centered characters whose passion torments and ultimately ruins the happiness of both. It is rather the quiet, idealized love between Ashley and Melanie Wilkes that depicts the true qualities and power of love to nurture, save and protect, even in times of extraordinary upheaval. Though Scarlett has set her heart on marrying the refined and cultured Ashley, he chooses instead his mild-mannered and frail cousin Melanie and marries her. Melanie lacks the captivating beauty, energy, vitality, and feminine wiles of Scarlett. But her gentle heart is made of pure goodness and possesses extraordinary power of goodwill that protects Ashley through the long years of fighting and imprisonment. But Scarlett and Rhett's turbulent and unfulfilling marriage is marred by constant quarrels.After the death of their young daughter, Rhett finally leaves her. Only then does she realize how much she needs and wants him. Through her sobs in the final scene, Scarlett begins to think of her home Tara, from which she has always gained strength, and determines that she will return there and will think of a way to get Rhett back.
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Gone with the Wind
Directed by Victor Fleming
Written by Margaret Mitchell (novel) & Sidney Howard (screenplay)
Starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara, Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes,
Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton, Clark Gable as Rhett Butler
Copyright belongs to Selznick International Pictures
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