Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 63
Summary

Rhett is at home, calm for once. He calls Melanie “an extraordinary woman”, and subsequently indicates that it is an extremely advantageous moment for Scarlett to seek Melanie’s authorization to marry Ashley now. Scarlett dismisses his remark and attempts to reveal to Rhett how she feels; yet, he chooses not to entertain it. He says his affection for her has worn out.

Rhett discloses to Scarlett he adored her profoundly, despite the fact that she longed for Ashley. He specifies the times when he planned to see a change in her: after their marriage; after he committed himself on her; and after the miscarriage. However, there was no change. Scarlett says this is on account of his brutality to her, and he recognizes they may have “been experiencing some miscommunication”.

Presently, Scarlett needs to settle everything between them; but Rhett is unable to, as he would not like to attempt it once more. When she says she cherishes him, he answers, “That is your misfortune.” Rhett is drained; and at 45 years old, by the principles of time, he is prepared to get peace and stability. She attempts to convince him that she can change, but it is past the point of no return. Rhett clears out; Scarlett is disturbed, yet chooses to go home to Tara and consider everything tomorrow. She is persuaded, as the novel comes to an end, that she can win Rhett back, and time at Tara will enable her to make sense of how to accomplish that.

Analysis

Scarlett, at last, makes sense of what the reader has known for a time now: she is in love with Rhett, and he — not Ashley — has been the most suitable man for her from the very beginning. In the final development, however, Scarlett gets her shock: Rhett does not need her. He is exhausted and looks old; he is around 20 years senior to Scarlett. Rhett, at long last, discloses every one of his activities to Scarlett, giving proof to help every one of the assumptions the reader has drawn all through.

A character in the nature of Scarlett, one even her maker objects to, seldom gets a desirable end. Also, it would be impossible for Rhett to welcome Scarlett’s affections after she took him for nothing for so long. It is completely in character, however, for Scarlett to feel that she will win him back. She will make sense of how “I’ll consider everything tomorrow, at Tara”. This leaves readers with an unanswered question at the novel’s end: Will she win Rhett once more? It appears the ideal setup for a sequel, one which Mitchell never composed.

Most importantly, the novel’s extraordinary force is the pressure between Scarlett and Rhett, both of whom are in need of something they can never have. Scarlett needs security; Rhett needs Scarlett’s adoration. Without that main impetus, it is difficult to envision how a sequel could or would work. Others have handled the undertaking, and yet they failed.

At last, Tara is Scarlett’s intimate romance and the methods for her survival. Indeed, even in her misery over losing both Melanie and Rhett, she is consoled by the existence of Tara. Her imaginations of the old days are vanishing one by one, and yet Tara remains the most vital to her.

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