Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano

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Chapter 33-34
Summary

Chapter 33

Scarlett and Mammy travel to Atlanta to be with Aunt Pittypat. The town has changed enormously, and Aunt Pittypat tells Scarlett how numerous individuals there have suffered also — for instance, once-rich women of Atlanta are currently running boarding houses or preparing pies to settle bills. Given what she has experienced at Tara, Scarlett has lost her sympathy. At that point, Aunt Pittypat discloses to Scarlett that Rhett is in prison because the Yankees suspects he slaughtered an African American man who offended a white lady, and — as indicated by Pittypat — “they may hang him”. Pittypat says the Yankees are irate about the Ku Klux Klan, who “ride around at night dressed up like ghosts” and target carpetbaggers and “negroes who are uppity”. The Yankees need to make a case of somebody, which may end up being Rhett. In any case, they trust that he will disclose to them where he hid his Confederate cash from the war. On the other hand, Scarlett feels that Rhett’s situation will make it simpler for her to get cash.

Chapter 34

Scarlett goes to see Rhett in prison. He appears to be truly moved by her visit, and the ensuing discussion goes on smoothly. Rhett appreciated her appearance, and she makes fun with him but says some untruths about how things are at Tara; she doesn't need him to know how desperate she is. Scarlett strongly believes that Rhett is going to propose to her. Yet, at that point, he sees her hands, roughened and rankled by work, and he knows she has been lying. He makes her tell him the truth, to which he subsequently declines to give her the monetary assistance. Rhett is unable to get his hands on the money while he is in jail. Scarlett departs, feeling devastated.

Analysis

This section presents the Ku Klux Klan, which started as a social club for retired Confederate fighters, and soon transformed into a violent fear group that assaulted African Americans and whites who helped them. Pittypat tells Scarlett about the organization in a whisper.

There is no proof that Rhett has a place within the Klan organization. However, he appears to share some of their principles, since he killed an African American man who “offended” a white lady. In the post-war American Civil War time, an African American man who looked straightforwardly at a white lady may be blamed for annoying or assaulting her, so it is very conceivable the man Rhett executed did nothing to attract his fierceness, not to mention his brutal death.

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