Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 21-22

Chapter 21

The Confederates are escaping Atlanta because the Yankees are coming. During this time, Melanie is in the process of giving birth. Incapable of getting anybody outside of the house to help, Scarlett turns to Prissy, who admits she was simply flaunting earlier on; she does not know anything about delivering babies. Scarlett is now left to her instruments.

Chapter 22

Melanie survives a horrifying labor and gives birth to a healthy boy. Scarlett is tired and angry with Prissy, who was of no assistance at all, and even drops the infant after Scarlett delivers him. As Scarlett sits on the yard, attempting to recuperate, she sees fighters walking by and is reminded that the Yankees are coming. She sends Prissy in an attempt to find out about the location of Rhett, trusting he can be of help to them.


Prissy can be troublesome if she chooses to be. She is of no help when Scarlett — and, more particularly, Melanie — genuinely requires assistance. She lies about having the capacity to help deliver the infant, and after that she drops him. Yet, Scarlett’s responses to Prissy are upsetting in light of the fact that they uncover a racist strain on their relationship that hitherto is hidden. Scarlett calls Prissy a “black liar” and slaps her, and where the statement also captures Prissy’s “kinky head”. Scarlett — and Mitchell — makes a connection between Prissy’s failings and her race: she does these things since she is African American. In this world, African Americans are inclined to boast about things they never did; they cannot think for themselves, and need direction from “wiser” white individuals.

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