Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 47
Summary

Scarlett separates herself from everyone as she stays in her room. Everybody is endeavoring to give her comfort in her anguish, however she is more terrified than saddened. She points the finger at herself for Frank’s death, and for taking him from Suellen. She drinks intensely and cries endlessly.

However, when Rhett shows up, she consents to see him. She reveals to Rhett her fears of going to Hell. Rhett talks her through her feelings of fright, helping her acknowledge that she laments Frank’s demise, yet she does not generally lament the means she used to capture him. He is patient and quiet as she works through her emotions. However, in the end, he drives the discussion where he needs it to go: he requests that Scarlett gets married to him.

As Rhett is going to leave town on a business trip, he needs to get covertly engaged to Scarlett so she will not marry some other wealthy man while he is on the trip. Scarlett says she would not like to marry anybody, yet in truth she stills longs for Ashley. Rhett makes sense of what she is saying; and he gets hold of Scarlett and kisses her. At that moment, his kiss manipulates Scarlett to lose all thought of Ashley, and responds in passion. At that point, she consents she is ready to marry him and seeks to know if she has agreed merely because of his money. Scarlett admits it is a part of it, which appears to make him cheerful. However, says she is “affectionate” about him, which appears to make him a little bit disappointed. Rhett says he could never tell Scarlett on her face that he cherished her: “you would be the last person I’d ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You'd break his heart.”

Rhett comes back from work with a ring so huge that it humiliates even Scarlett. Their plan — coming not so not long after Frank’s demise — shocks everybody. Scarlett gets into a heated discussion with Mammy, who calls her “a mule in horse harness” and Rhett “trash”. After their wedding, Scarlett tells Rhett what Mammy stated, and he smiles and recognizes that she is right. Rhett reveals to Scarlett the idea that individuals will dislike them because they are rich and do what pleases them. He examines her face for something he does not appear to see: love.

Analysis

Each time Ashley and Scarlett are alone, away from everyone else, it is reasonable — however not to Scarlett — how inadequate they see one another and what a terrible couple they would make. But here, by contrast, it is clear why Rhett and Scarlett would make an impeccable couple. Rhett has no fantasies about Scarlett, yet he can be humble and mindful of her when she needs him. He relieves her feelings of death in Hell the way a parent calms an infant after a bad dream (Rhett is impressively more mature than Scarlett), and he confuses her with another toy: marriage.

However, Rhett’s emotions are not so much parental. This part makes it clear Rhett thinks profoundly about Scarlett; he may even love her, however he will not state it. He concedes to “need” her more than any other lady he has ever known, and has been waiting patiently for numerous years for her. When he understands she is considering Ashley, he kisses her enthusiastically to suppress and even kill that idea. After she consents to get married to him, and says it is half as a result of his money, Rhett finds no problem with that idea. He needs to deal with her but he, too, needs Scarlett to think about him. Rhett is furious when she cites his own words about how married couples should not love each other; he needs to love her, and he needs her affection. Yet, as he says, she will just make him extremely upset in the event that he ever reveals that he loves her. Rhett knows this and still needs to marry her; and so, they do get married.

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