Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 54
Summary

Melanie anticipates outrage from the gathering by keeping Scarlett next to her all through the party. When she returns home, Scarlett is shaking from the strain. When she chooses to get a drink, Rhett confronts her; he is drunker than she has ever observed him. He says he knows precisely what occurred. Rhett points the finger at her for looking for Ashley, who would never make her happy, rather than acknowledging what she could have done with him.

Rhett tells Scarlett he adores her, yet he also physically assaults her. As Scarlett attempts to flee, he gets her and kisses her enthusiastically, and brings her upstairs to the room afterwards. The following morning, Scarlett is humiliated yet satisfied by what had occurred. She is anxious to see Rhett once more, partially on the grounds that she plans to use his affection to control him. However, it is all too late and Rhett is gone, and he does not return home for two or three days. When he returns, he makes it plain he was at Belle Watling’s. Scarlett is angry.

Rhett asks to divorce from her in the event he is granted the custody of Bonnie; naturally, Scarlett refuses. At that point, he declares he is traveling to Charleston and New Orleans — a long journey — and he needs to take Bonnie with him. At the point when Scarlett rejects on the grounds that he may take Bonnie to places like Belle’s, Rhett makes a threat to whip her. He goes to see Bonnie, treating her with awesome tenderness.

Analysis

The scene involving Scarlett and Rhett might be peculiar amongst the most awkward in the novel, but not particularly for modern readers: Rhett assaults Scarlett, and the following morning she is upbeat about it.

In light of the traditions of that time, Rhett, as a man and a spouse, has the privilege to treat his partner in any way he chooses. He rebukes her before he could demand his conjugal rights. Mitchell appears to demonstrate Scarlett needs a man to assume the responsibility of her and control her, including sexually. Scarlett may, without a doubt, be relieved to give Rhett a chance to assume the responsibility of things for a change, regardless of whether it implies being harmed and manhandled. She quite often has the high ground, in many respects. Most likely she, too, observes Rhett’s activities as an indication of his love for her, and this sexist example of conduct in certainty satisfies and complements her.

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