Scarlett O'Hara

Scarlett O'Hara

    Gone with the Wind
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... with her two sisters and parents. Her parents couldn’t be more different from each other; her mother is a genteel French aristocrat and her father is a strong-willed and down-to-earth Irishman. Scarlett is a unique blend of both of them – dainty and refined to the outside world, but also fiery and tough at her core.

Living… in Georgia during the bloodiest and most brutal war America has ever seen, the Civil War.

Profession... heir to a large plantation. Her parents own Tara, a cotton plantation that her father won in a poker game. Her Pa taught Scarlett that land is the only thing in this world that lasts, and she is deeply attached to Tara.

Interests… getting attention. And given that Scarlett is one of the most charming and stunning Southern belles, she usually gets it. Scarlett is an unabashed flirt who can make hearts melt with a bat of an eyelash.

Relationship Status... widowed. Scarlett’s husband Charles died when he was fighting for the Confederacy. On the market again, Scarlett has her pick of men, including Rhett Butler, a blockade-runner and gambler. Possibly an even bigger flirt than she is, Rhett tells her, “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.” But Scarlett only has eyes for Ashley Wilkes, the gentlemanly heir to the plantation next to Tara, who alas is married.

Challenge... surviving the war and her broken heart. The war is taking a big toll on everyone on the South – including Scarlett, who is doing whatever she can to keep her family’s plantation out of the hands of the Yankees and filthy carpetbaggers. As she says, "I can't let Tara go. I won't let it go while there's a breath left in my body." But Scarlett deals with the war better than she handles with her love life. Even though Ashley married years earlier, Scarlett hasn’t gotten over the fact that he loves someone else. 

Personality... free-spirited and shrewd, but also manipulative and self-involved. Although Scarlett’s selfishness gets her in plenty of trouble, it is ironically also one of her strengths. Without anyone else looking after her during the vicious war, Scarlett looks after Scarlett. If only the strong survive, Scarlett will be one of them.


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