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Gone With The Wind

The Gone With The Wind women demonstrate not only historical accuracy when it comes to the Civil War period in history, but they also illustrate the roles that women played in society before and after the conflict. Ellen O’Hara (nee Robillard) of Savannah and Northern Georgia completely typifies the traditional role of women before the war. She is the epitome of the genteel, kindly, white matriarch of plantation lore. She is selfless in her charity to others to the point where Mammy criticizes her for helping “poor white trash” when she should be taking care of herself. She abruptly married Gerald O’Hara, even though her parents disapproved of his lack of “family name”, but that is as rebellious as she gets. Once married to Gerald, even though she is abruptly transplanted to the coarser, more extreme culture of Northern Georgia, she is loving towards and loved by one an all, “She became the best-loved neighbor in the County. She was a thrifty and kind mistress, a good mother and a devoted wife. The heartbreak and selflessness that she would have dedicated to the Church were devoted instead to the service of her child, her household and the man who had taken her out of Savannah” (Mitchell 52). This shows the typical concerns of women of the period-home, family, and neighbors. Even though the acrid odor of slavery allowed this genteel existence, such an existence was typical for white plantation matriarchs. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote, “…then comes the gay routine of fashionable life, courtship and marriage, the perplexities of house and children, and she knows nothing else besides” (Unger 189).

As many members of the younger generation who are not trained critical thinkers are apt to do, Melanie completely adopted the role and values of the generation of women like Ellen O’Hara before her. Scarlett’s annoyance with Melanie comes in part because she is such a goody-goody carbon copy of the al...

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Gone With The Wind. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:36, August 04, 2020, from