Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Chapter 8-9
Summary

Chapter 8

Life in Atlanta is significantly busier, which Scarlett apparently likes. She volunteers to take care of warriors at the war clinics since it is the socially acceptable activity that, as a widow, she can do. Scarlett is glad the family is more than happy to watch over Wade for her, giving her an opportunity to be far from home at the war medical care centers. Melanie offers to volunteer as well. Scarlett is also glad to learn she has control over her dead husband’s property, yet despising how she is not being permitted to move around and have fun as other young women do. Melanie’s “great” conduct and continued presence around her is a consistent cause of tribulation to her.

Chapter 9

Scarlett and Melanie are requested to volunteer at a charity ball. Typically, a family in grief would not take an interest — but, rather, Scarlett says yes since she is so adamant to be away from the house. Melanie consents to go and be of help to the Cause — that is, the Confederacy. Be that as it may, when they get to the ball, Scarlett is once more baffled at how widowers are demanded to behave, and she admits to herself that she doesn't support and believe in the Cause like the others do.

Rhett Butler approaches the group. He is renowned now as a blockader, somebody who runs boats through the Yankee bar to get supplies, including materials for ladies’ dresses. While Rhett says all the correct things, Scarlett can tell he does not trust them.

To fund-raise for the healthcare center, ladies are requested to give their jewelry. Scarlett gives her wedding ring, which she has no hesitation to give away at any cost. This moves Melanie to also give hers, which — in fact — she holds quite dearly. The medic who runs the facility goes ahead and organizes an auction in which men place bids on ladies to hit the dance floor with them. Rhett bids $150 to dance with Scarlett, the most mouthwatering offer of the night, to which Scarlett acknowledges, despite the fact that it displeases everybody. As a widow, she ought not to be hitting the dance floor with anybody, especially with a man like Rhett, with his “lusty and unashamed appetites”. Rhett urges her to do what she prefers and not stress over what other individuals think.

Analysis

Scarlett may abhor Melanie, yet Melanie is a decent individual — one with perplexing levels of personality, as illustrated by her undying demand to work in the hospital notwithstanding that it makes her sick. Melanie is desirous to see the best in everybody, a quality she will require in her dealings with Scarlett.

Melanie is an ideal opponent for Scarlett, who is alluring and vivacious; while Melanie is plain and calm. Scarlett is resolute and embarrassingly spoiled, and fails to care about other people’s emotions; Melanie buckles down for others and desires only to make everybody happy. It is noticeable that Scarlett is disappointed with Melanie, yet it is refreshing to see that Melanie is not the wishy-washy idiot Scarlett envisions her to be. At the point when Rhett Butler returns, he is depicted as the demon, enticing Scarlett to mess up — yet he unmistakably have feelings for her. At this moment, Rhett understands her in a way nobody else does, and he gives her what she needs, right then and there: the chance to dance. He urges her to reject the traditions and conventions she has followed obediently and find space and happiness once more. In a way, this hints at the breaking down of Southern culture after the war. What Scarlett does is not terrible, however — it is her initial phase in breaking with the society and culture that raised her. This definitely will not be her last.

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