I am starting this update out with a question for those of you that watched the movie before reading the book. Do you think you would have seen the whole Scarlett marries Ashley thing coming? I for one, did NOT see that coming. I also thought it was a strange contrast to what I have read in the book so far. I mean this in terms of details. He proposed and then the next chapter starts out with them married, him gone, dead and her having a baby (Wade Hampton Hamilton-named after Charles’ commanding officer). What happened to those months? Everything else is told in such detail. In some respects they do fill in some of those gaps as the story progresses on, but I just found myself so startled by that opening paragraph in Chapter VII and how they chose to start with the “end” of that era instead of taking us through it in progression. It reads:
“Within two weeks Scarlett had become a wife,
and within two months more sh was a widow.
She was soon released from the bonds assumed with so much haste and so little thought,
but she was never again to know the careless freedom
of her unmarried days. Widowhood had crowded closely on the heels of marriage but,
to her dismay, motherhood soon followed.”
Along these same lines, I found it startling how little concern she showed for her child. I guess this shocks me in any situation. Having children of my own and knowing the gravity of feeling and responsibility that comes along with them, I find it shocking how flip people often treat parenthood. This is resonating through my head in a very loud way on the heels of a horrible shooting in our area. How any parent can shoot their child in cold blood is just beyond me! I know this is not what Scarlett did, but on multiple instances the narrator mentions how happy Scarlett is feeling like Scarlet O’hara again and how it is like she does not have a child. I recall a comment about how well cared for he is by the family in the brick house. This was in reference to her justifying to herself not being a loving, attentive mother to her son.
I am farther than this in the book, but these points struck me and I wanted to take the time to mention them. In my next installment I will be looking into the relationship developing between Scarlett and Rhett Butler. Such an intriguing dynamic! So please hang with me and please post your thoughts about these subjects and any others that come to mind for you while reading Gone with the Wind.