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Gone With the Wind is an amazing story about life down south during the Civil War and a few years after it. It was written in 1936 by author Margaret Mitchell. The movie was later released in 1939, and seen by countless amounts of people. I enjoyed the movie because it gave me an interesting perspective to the civil war. I always viewed the confederates to be these evil slave owners. The movie showed me that they were not evil, and this was just the way their culture was, and it’s hard to change the way you live your life. It was an entertaining, realistic movie that showed the devastating effects of war, like death and poverty. The north destroyed the south’s entire culture to keep the union as one, and to free the slaves. The city of Atlanta was burned to the ground by the north, killing many innocent civilians. Life was very happy and joyful in the south for many white people, but after the war, many of them lost their homes, or even their lives. It was a tragic story on how destructive war can be.

The main character is Scarlett O’hara. In the beginning of the story she is only eighteen. She is a very strong-minded woman, but is also very stubborn, and tries hard to get her way. Sometimes she is a very deceitful person when she tries to get her way. At the beginning of the story, Scarlett lives a very simple life. She is a rich girl in the south that lives on the plantation of Tara. She is very beautiful and almost every man wants to marry her, except for the one she thinks she loves, Ashley Wilkes. Her biggest problem is trying to find a way to make Ashley marry her and not his cousin Melanie. Her life takes a tragic turn when the civil war begins. Scarlett’s mother dies of disease and her father goes crazy because of her mother’s death. All of the slaves are freed, so she has no one to work at the plantation, and must work herself. The taxes on Tara are raised to three hundred dollars, and she has to find a way to get the money. She makes a vow that if she has to lie, cheat, steal, or kill she will never go hungry again. Eventually she learns that she doesn’t really love Ashley, but she loves Rhett Butler. Ashley Wilkes is another main character in the story. He is a little older than Scarlett is. He lives at Twin Oaks. Ashley is a very quiet person. He’s the opposite of Scarlett; he’s not so stubborn or straight forward. Ashley is not a very outgoing man, but is very kind and faithful. He is married to his cousin Melanie, and never leaves her no matter how hard Scarlett tries to make him. He tells Scarlett that he does love her, but he really loves his cousin Melanie. Melanie Hamilton is Ashley Wilke’s cousin. Melanie eventually marries Ashley. She is a little older than Scarlett is. Melanie is a very kind and loving person. When people complain to her how awful Scarlett is she tells them that Scarlett is a good person. Melanie is always thinking of others, and not herself. After she has her baby, she offers to help Scarlett work on the plantation. Melanie remains a kind and loving person all the way to her death. Rhett Butler was a very dynamic character in the story. Rhett Butler is about thirty years old. He is a very courageous man. During the war he becomes a very rich man. He eventually marries Scarlett, but at the end of the movie he leaves her.

The theme of the story is that a society must adapt to change to survive. The south’s culture was destroyed. They had no more slaves to do all their work. For the first time in their lives, they had to do the work on their plantations, or they would go poor. In the story Scarlett was now running Tara and had only her and her friends to help do the work, not a bunch of slaves. If they did not adapt to the change in their society, they would have probably lost what was left of their homes. If they didn’t start working on their farms themselves, the farms would have fallen apart and lost its source of income. All the farmers would then lose their money, not be able to pay the bills, and then lose their homes. That is why a society must adapt to change to survive.

The story takes place during the Civil War. The main setting is in Tara. Tara is a plantation owned by the O'hara's. It is the place Scarlett loves the most. She goes to Tara when she needs strength to help her with her problems. Although Tara is not the only setting, it is the most important one.

The external conflict is man vs. society. The civil war is forcing the south to change. Everything Scarlett is used to in her life is destroyed and she must change her lifestyle in order to survive. She decieves many people to help her survive. The internal conflict is man vs. himself. Scarlett believes she loves Ashley Wilkes. Throughout the story she tries to get Ashley to marry her. What she doesn't realize is that she doesn't really love Ashley, but she loves Rhett.

The external conflict is solved through several marriages. Scarlett marries Frank Kennedy for money to pay the taxes on Tara to keep the farm. After he is killed, she marries Rhett to get more money. Through deceit, Scarlett doesn't lose her home. The external conflict ends with Scarlett realizing she doesn't really love Ashley. She confesses her love to Rhett, but it's to late, he decides to leave to Charleston.

Gone With the Wind is a story about the struggles of Scarlett O'hara. As the story begins, Scarlett is shown with twin men flirting with her. This is nothing unusual, Scarlett makes men act like this all the time. There is talk of a Barbecue the next day at neighboring Twelve Oaks, the Wilkes’ plantation down the road from Tara. Gerald O’Hara is coming back from Twelve Oaks, and Scarlett meets him on the road to ask if the rumor Mammy, her slave, had told her is true. That Ashley Wilkes is going to ask his cousin Melanie to marry him. Gerald tells Scarlett the same, and she is heartbroken. As Scarlett is getting ready for the party, she and Mammy fight over Ashley Wilkes. When they arrive at Twelve Oaks, Scarlett is the center of attention, all of the men, even those who have girlfriends, talk to Scarlett. She is the most popular girl there. All of the other girls resent her except for Melanie. Melanie and Ashley talk of their marriage as they overlook the garden. Scarlett is sitting beneath a tree with all the men surrounding her, at her beck and call. She is enjoying this until she spies Ashley and Melanie together. The girls all have to go take a nap, but once they are all asleep Scarlett sneaks out and listens in on the conversation the men are having about the upcoming war. Everyone is sure the war will be short and glorious. After all, "southern gentlemen are worth any ten Yankees. Everyone knows that." Everyone, that is, except Rhett Butler, he thinks the war will be hard fought. After Rhett and all the men get into a confrontation, he leaves. Shortly after, Ashley follows him. Scarlett intercepts Ashley, and she gets him alone in the library to confess her love for him. Ashley says he loves her too, but they are too different and cannot be together. After Ashley leaves, Rhett Butler shows himself, he was in the room the whole time. Scarlett comes out of the room and she hears all of the other girls talking about her, but Melanie sticks up for her.

The war started! All the men are going to enlist. Charles Hamilton asks Scarlett to marry him. She says yes to try to make Ashley jealous. In a double wedding, Ashley and Melanie and Charles and Scarlett get married. The men go off to war and Charles dies shortly after of pneumonia. Scarlett is widowed. Ellen O’Hara gives Scarlett permission to go to Atlanta and stay with Melanie and her Aunt Pittypat. They are at a charity dance for the Rebel army, when Scarlett runs into Rhett again. He bids $150 to dance with her. All of the people at the dance were scandalized by this since she was just recently widowed. Scarlett and Rhett become close and she spends time with him, because he is the only man around to take her out. Rhett says that Scarlett should be, "kissed and often, by someone who knows how." At Christmas time, the soldiers get three days leave. Ashley goes home to visit. He asks Scarlett to look after Melanie. Scarlett and Melanie volunteer at the hospital for the wounded from the war. Belle Whatling donates money to the hospital, but no one but Melanie will take it because she runs a brothel. Scarlett recognizes the handkerchief that the donation comes in, it is Rhett Butler’s. Scarlett, nursing at the hospital, helps to show how gruesome the injuries were and how desperate the conditions were.

Eventually Sherman starts to attack Atlanta and everyone is fleeing the city. Scarlett sees Big Sam, one of her slaves, and he tells herthat her mother is sick. Scarlett says that she wants to go back to Tara, but the doctor convinces her that it wouldn’t be the best thing to do, because Melanie is pregnant and she cannot make the journey. The siege of Atlanta is in process. Melanie goes into labor so Scarlett goes to find the doctor, but he cannot help her because there are so many dying soldiers that need his help. Scarlett has to deliver the baby herself along with Prissy. Melanie has a baby boy. Scarlett sends Prissy to get Rhett and ask him to bring his horse and carriage. Rhett, Scarlett, Melanie, Prissy, and the baby start on their journey to Tara. They have to cross through the fires set by the retreating Confederates in Atlanta. Rhett leaves them on the road to Tara, and he goes to join the war. The journey was long and hard, but Scarlett gets them through it. They get back to Twelve Oaks, but it is demolished. So they head to Tara, and miraculously, it’s still there, dirty and damaged, but standing. Her father greets her at the door, but he has gone crazy. Scarlett finds out that her mother died, she is very upset, but Scarlett’s father still thinks that the mother is alive. Scarlett is the only one that the family can depend on. She says "As God as my witness I will never be hungry again."

Scarlet tries to get Tara back together. Eventually Ashley makes it back, but there is trouble, the taxes on Tara have been raised. Now they are $300, an unreachable amount of money. Ashley and Scarlett talk at the barn. Scarlett confesses her love for him again, but he says that he admires her fearlessness. They kiss, and then Scarlett asks Ashley to run away, then he says that she can’t go because she has too much honor to leave Tara. Emmy Slattery and Mr. Wilkinson come to Tara and offer to buy it from them. Scarlett screams at them to leave. Mr. O'hara gets on his horse and tries to chase them away, but he falls off and dies from a fall while he is jumping over a fence. Scarlett decides that she’ll go see Rhett in Atlanta and ask him for the $300. She dresses up in a dress that she made out of curtains. She tries to decieve him into marrying her. Rhett is in jail, and he refuses to marry her. After this Scarlett runs into Frank Kennedy, the man Suellen wants to marry. She decieves him into marrying her to get the money for Tara. Eventually she starts a lumber business with Ashley.

One night Ashley and Frank go out to fight some of the yankees that are still in Atlanta. Ashley is shot, and Frank is dead. Luckily, Rhett goes and brings Ashley back. Scarlett once again becomes a widow. Rhett makes up a lie to tell the Yankees of them being at Belle Whatley’s house, so that Ashley doesn't get arrested.

Later, Scarlett and Rhett are talking and he again asks her to marry him, and this time she says yes. They go on a honeymoon to New Orleans. Scarlett wants to go back to Tara, so they go back, and build a mansion in Atlanta. They eventually have a baby girl named Bonnie. Scarlett doesn’t want to have anymore children because she is still in love with Ashley. They separate, and Rhett goes to see Belle and she convinces him to go back, because the baby needs him. Rhett gets drunk one night after Melanie has a party and he wants to get Ashley out of Scarlett's mind forever. The next morning he apologizes then says he is going to London and taking Bonnie with him. Bonnie hates it there and says that she wants to go home and see her mother. Rhett takes Bonnie home, and then says he’s leaving. Scarlett tells him that she is pregnant, they both say that they don’t want the baby and Rhett says maybe Scarlett will have an accident. As he says this Scarlett tries to slap him and falls down the stairs, and loses the baby.

After some time, Melanie tells Rhett that Scarlett is better. They are on the patio talking and watching Bonnie ride a horse, when Bonnie decides that she will take a jump. But she does not make it and dies, just like Gerald. Mammy calls on Melanie to help her, because Scarlett and Rhett are both distraught. But Melanie is very ill, and falls when she is at their house and she doesn't recovers. Melanie dies shortly after. Scarlett realizes as Melanie dies that her love for Ashley never existed, and that she really loves Rhett. She rushes home to tell him, but it is too late. He has already made up his mind to go to Charleston. Scarlett begs him not to go, "where shall I go .... what shall I do?" But Rhett says, "I don't give a damn," Scarlett believes that she needs to get him back so she says she’ll go to Tara to think, to the place that gives her strength. "After all," Scarlett says, "tomorrow is another day."

In conclusion, Gone With the Wind is a tragic tale. It shows the devastating effects of war. The story is a good, historical film that shows what life was like in the south during the civil war. It shows how the south's culture was destroyed by the Civil War, and that they had to adapt if they wanted to survive the change in their culture. The storie tells how a war can make a civilization be gone with the wind.

Word Count: 2552

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