Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

by contributor

Nina Calhoun

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Clothes

In Scarlett’s era, as in most, wearing fine garments was a marker of riches; for ladies, plenty of level of fabric indicated that there was a lot of money. On the novel’s first page, Mitchell gives specifics about Scarlett’s garments, down to the “twelve yards” of fabric in her cloth. Prior to the party at Twelve Oaks, Scarlett spends a decent amount of time choosing which dress she should wear, demonstrating her ruined, cosseted way of life.

Amid the American Civil War, Rhett makes a fortune sneaking fabrics for the women to use to make new dresses. After the war, when Jonas Wilkerson and his new spouse visit Tara with the aim of getting it, Scarlett, in desire, takes note of Emmie’s elegant garments. Scarlett desires to dress-to-trick Rhett into feeling that she is doing great; she knows he will see it if her garments are old and exhausted. Later, Rhett spoils their little girl, Bonnie, by enabling her to wear whatever she loves. At the point when Scarlett says Bonnie’s blue velvet dress will get dirty, Rhett calmly says they can get another dress just like it, indicating a feeling of straightforwardness and riches.

Garments also show whether the novel’s female characters adhere to their societal desires. Ladies who are not members from the customary Southern culture, like Belle Watling and Emmy Slattery, for example, flaunt “cheap” yet nice garments. When she desires to tempt Ashley, Scarlett wears a short dress to the barbecue at Twelve Oaks, despite the fact that she knows it is not appropriate for the day. Scarlett is fully aware of society’s rules; nonetheless, she does not bother breaking them as long as it will encourage her to accomplish her desires.

Everybody is amused when Scarlett stops wearing her grieving garments after Charles’ demise, yet she cannot reject the lovely green cap Rhett gives her. Later on in the book, after Scarlett and Ashley are seen together, Rhett demands that she wears an attractive dress for the gathering. Rhett advises her: “No modest, matronly dove grays and lilacs tonight.”

Tara

Tara, the O’Hara family estate, symbolizes the conventional Southern lifestyle, which vanishes through the span of the novel. At the beginning of the book, Margaret Mitchell relates how Gerald acquired Tara and created a showplace from it. Tara, alongside Ellen, Gerald’s partner; and Pork, his valet, are the three components Gerald needs to turn into an affluent and very much regarded landowner and community leader.

Gerald’s love for the land, and for Tara specifically, comes from his Irish blood. Irish history is overflowing with individuals whose land was taken from them, and numerous Irish immigrants went to the United States for similar reasons Gerald did: to get away from their challenges and start another life in a place where nobody would take what was theirs. From the first chapter of the novel Gerald says the land is “the only thing worth working for, worth fighting for — worth dying for.” At the time, Scarlett rejects his remarks; yet, after the Civil War, she comes to comprehend and share his sentiments: she too will battle, murder, and forfeit anything rather than lose Tara. The manor is her one source of joy when Ashley will not flee with her. Substantially later, after her unsuccessful labor, Rhett sends her to Tara, saying, “it doesn't do for Scarlett to stay away too long from that patch of red mud she loves.”

After the war, Scarlett, as a character, seldom makes a decision to get involved in mindful reflection, but more than once muses about the number of manors that are gone, never to return. In Chapter 57, Will Benteen advises her, “Tara’s the best farm in the County, thanks to you and me… but it’s a farm… not a plantation.” Tara has survived, but it has also changed, in the same way every one of them have changed, to survive.

Skin

On the introductory page, the reader learns how Scarlett had “magnolia-white skin — that skin so prized by Southern women and so carefully guarded.” Mammy has always reminded Scarlett to have the sunbonnet with her always so she does not get freckled. Delicate, fair skin is an indication of a real woman.

Later, Scarlett’s skin is not any more delicate or pale; the American Civil War made sure that she should work in the fields to keep everybody satisfied. Mammy’s healthy skin ideas appear to be inconsequential in this new world, where the major concerns are far beyond a smooth appearance. However, society’s judgments live on: when Scarlett attempts to trap Rhett into making a marriage proposal to her, he feels the callouses on her hands and says, “These are not the hands of a woman.”

In the event that Southern ladies are required to be pale and shielded, Southern men are demanded upon to be rough. One of Rhett‘s highlights are his swarthy, darker skin; when he starts partying less and investing more time with his little girl, Bonnie, he develops swarthier skin, which is an indication of flourishing well-being — for a man. In Chapter 1, the Tarleton young men are depicted as “sunburned”. Gerald O’Hara’s face is frequently flowery, but this could be the consequence of excessive consumption of alcohol as opposed to the sunlight.

Ashley has fair skin, another sign he is not prepared for male life in reality. The most prominent imagery of skin is the treatment of African Americans, especially those with darker skin. The novel is overflowing with varying types of African Americans, regardless of whether are enslaved or free, and being judged by their skin color.

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