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.