Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 5
Summary

Scarlett gets involved in an argument with Mammy about eating, and which dress to put on when going to the grill. However, she instructs her to leave, and gripes about her tendencies to act senselessly to “get” a man. However, Mammy reveals to her it is fundamental and says she can act naturally after getting her man.

Gerald goes with the young ladies to the grill, and Ellen remains home to manage the situation concerning the manager. The Tarleton ladies meet up with the one from Tara, and Gerald jokes and converses with Beatrice Tarleton, who has a huge cotton estate and the biggest horse ranch in Georgia. She obviously minds more about her horses than individuals — she examines everybody as though they were stallions and female horses. Mrs. Tarleton spends extensive time discussing the Wilkes family and their inclination to wed their cousins, which “debilitates the strain”. She demands “the stamina has been reared out of them”.

Analysis

This part looks at the concept of breeding and, to an extent, the bloodlines, generally with the help of Beatrice Tarleton, a paramount character, despite being a moderately-minor one. One of the novel’s repeating themes is how a few contrasts between individuals, specifically unfavorable ones, are “in the blood”. The Wilkes family is “unique” because of their propensity for getting cousins as wives.

Beatrice Tarleton portrays the Wilkes group as lacking in quality and stamina. Since readers definitely think about Scarlett's ability and quality of will, it appears to be clear a marriage amongst Scarlett and Ashley would be troublesome, at best. Their contracts are “in the blood”.

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