Melanie is facilitating a surprise gathering for Ashley’s birthday. She requests that Scarlett go down to the plant and delay Ashley so he does not return home too soon. Of course, Scarlett is happy to do as such. When she arrives, she learns Ashley is thinking about the meeting, however he is playing along to make Melanie happy. Scarlett now has a more friendly warmth than passion towards Ashley, which startles her. She can even see what he is thinking about. At the point when the two discuss the days of slavery, Scarlett feels sad and begins to cry. To comfort her, Ashley puts his arms around her. There is nothing sentimental about the move. Scarlett says that, “it was good to be in his arms, without passion... as a loved friend”. However, Ashley’s sister, India, sees them from the doorway and develops a different thought.
Ashley advises Scarlett to go; she heads home with a feeling of humiliation and agitation. She knows everybody will think of negative thoughts and will enjoy teasing her, which is particularly true for India. However, Scarlett stresses most over what Melanie will think. She resigns to her room and complains of pain, yet Rhett goes and confronts her. He comprehends what occurred during the meeting between Scarlett and Ashley; he is annoyed and cold but will not give her a chance to clarify. He demands that she should go to Ashley’s party with him, which she does — but she is preparing herself to be dealt with severely. However, Melanie welcomes her with a stern look in her eye and says India was unfit to go to the party, and welcomes Scarlett to stand with her and receive guests throughout the night.