Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 53
Summary

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.

Analysis

It has at long last occurred. Scarlett has been set out toward this minute since the beginning of the novel. On occasion, she even fantasized about what might occur in the event that she could get “captured” with Ashley. But now, she and Ashley are being rebuffed for one of the most minimal interactions in their relationship. At the point when Scarlett goes to see Ashley, she is astounded to discover that she no longer feels attracted to him, possibly because she is no longer in love with him. For a change, Scarlett accepts Ashley’s thoughts since she is not endeavoring to compel him into her “model” shape. As they share ideas of the past, Scarlett starts to think about what she has lost, and things she swore not to consider at any time. It is true that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. But due to their past associations, they respond as if they are guilty whenever they are “caught”.

Scarlett’s first stress is towards herself, which is obvious. Her fear is for Melanie, which is startling. Scarlett stresses horrendously over Melanie’s possible response before she even considers Rhett— who, of course, responds. He knows how much love there is between Scarlett and Ashley. He compels her to go to the party, to rebuke her or to keep away any harm to Bonnie’s reputation, or both — and she does as directed. Melanie welcomes her and makes it obvious she has indeed taken Scarlett’s side against the world, regardless of whether Scarlett merits it.

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