Margaret Mitchell, at one time, said of Gone with the Wind: “If the novel has a theme, it is that of survival.” Scarlett O’Hara, together with Rhett Butler, are survivors as a matter of priority. One or both confront every test conceivable: war, starvation, physical brutality, and the demise of relatives, conjugal issues, babies, detainment, and some other tribulations.
Scarlett and Rhett survive to a great extent since they adjust their morals and measures to their conditions. Mitchell does not essentially commend that. Numerous characters in the novel figure out how to get what they want without lowering their standards, even Melanie. Despite the fact that she seems soft, Melanie surmounts a significant number of similar issues Scarlett faces, and yet she does it without harming her integrity. At the point when Melanie passes toward the end of the novel, it is on account of her decision and desire to get pregnant again — she is strong and consistent with herself, to her very last breath.
Mitchell additionally investigates why a few people do not survive. Grandmother Fontaine addresses Scarlett about “gumption”; a few have it, and some do not. Be that as it may, Will Benteen gives a comparison, or better clarification: a few people do not survive on the grounds that they lose their “mainspring”. Will, talking at Gerald O’Hara’s memorial service, says Gerald lost his “mainspring” when his partner, Ellen, passed on. Gerald survived after escaping from Ireland, starting his manor from nothing, losing three children, and also the troubles that were brought by the war. Those things did not beat him — however, losing his “heart” did.
The “mainspring” hypothesis clarifies a considerable measure about how characters in the book react to challenges: Carreen’s “mainspring” is destroyed when her partner, Brent Tarleton, dies in the war; she withdraws from the world. Ashley’s heart is destroyed twice: first with the loss of Twelve Oaks, and second with Melanie’s passing. Ashley is experiencing the motions in the book, and his life continues to change from one level to another. Rhett’s “mainspring” is likewise destroyed when he loses his little girl, Bonnie. With respect to Scarlett, Tara is by all accounts her actual “mainspring”. Had she lost the ranch, it is difficult to envision what she would have done.