Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 3-4
Summary

The third chapter gives the backstory of Ellen Robillard and Gerald O’Hara. Ellen, who originates from an affluent family, is the true face and power behind the administration of Tara, despite the fact that she seems to submit to Gerald, her spouse, as society anticipates. They appear to be at loggerheads as a couple even though it seems the marriage has worked out admirably.

Gerald, who is twenty-eight years older than Ellen, is a boisterous, hard-drinking Irishman who fled to America after he had murdered a man in Ireland. He won the family estate and his valet, Pork — his two prized “belonging” — by playing cards. Gerald developed the estate from nothing and set his heart and mind on marrying Ellen when she was only fifteen.

Ellen was enamored with her trouble-making cousin, who was sent away by the family — and most of his life — in very disturbing and shocking circumstances. To escape from her family and her troubling memories, Ellen wedded Gerald. She brought her own slave, Mammy, an additional twenty “house” slaves to Tara. The couple had three daughters: the eldest being Katie Scarlett, who was followed by Susan Elinor (Suellen), and finally Caroline Irene (Carreen). The couple also had three sons, all of which had died at tender ages.

Ellen is an awesome woman and much appreciated in the region. She has made tremendous efforts to bring up her little girls to be awesome women too; yet, Scarlett is excessively persistent and hardheaded, making it impossible to be refined. But she is remarkably fruitful at attracting men.

Pork, Gerald’s valet, comes up and interrupts with supper to express gratitude toward Gerald for purchasing Pork’s partner, Dilcey, and her young child, Prissy, who lived on another estate. Ellen returns home late: Emmie Slattery had a child outside of marriage, and the infant passed on. Scarlett overhears Ellen say the child was sired with Tara's manager, Jonas Wilkerson, and Ellen demands his employment be terminated as a result of it. Meanwhile, Scarlett is tremendously in love with Ashley, and imagines that he just doesn't know she feels for him; she chooses to show her love to him at the grill.

Analysis

Gone with the Wind includes a type of bigotry that might be less common to present-day readers: the paternalistic bigotry of the “great” slave owner. Through all the reports, Gerald and Ellen O’Hara are “great” proprietors. Once in a while, they beat slaves, and Gerald is thoughtful enough to purchase his valet’s partner from a neighboring farmer. Be that as it may, they feel the slaves are too clumsy to work on their own, so they treat them like other children.

The slaves regularly learned their own racial inclinations from their lords. These early parts present house slaves versus field or yard slaves. House slaves live nearer to their owners and, as a result, have a superior way of life. Their work is also less strenuous. They are at the highest point of the slave chain of importance and take pride in their status where contrasted with the yard and field slaves. Additionally, the slaves look down on poor whites, or “white junk”, like the Slatterys, who rely on the rich whites’ philanthropy.

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