Lee has a bachelor's in English Lit. She loves assessing fiction and obsessing end books, film, and television.

You are watching: How old was scarlett in gone with the wind


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Gone with the Wind is a 1939 historical romance film starring Clark Gable together Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh together Scarlett O'Hara.

The film has long to be applauded for the "epic" romance between Rhett and Scarlett who are -- admittedly -- two exceptionally entertaining characters. But it suddenly developed to me the -- yet again -- we the audience have romanticized what is little an ext than one abusive relationship.


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When Rhett first sees Scarlett in ~ Twelve Oaks, he leers in ~ her. Leering at who -- making it noticeable that you're thinking of sex through them -- is quite disrespectful, on height of straight-up dehumanizing, and also Rhett does it openly -- in front of anyone at the barbecue! by his very own admission, the is no a gentleman yet a finish scoundrel, and Scarlett is not much off the note when she calls him a "nasty dog" for openly leering in ~ her.


To make matters worse, Rhett is in his thirties, while Scarlett is sixteen years old as soon as he meets her. Maybe ago then the was thought about "normal" to marry children, however we provided to normalize a the majority of things that space deeply wrong. He was a grown man drooling end a teenage girl.

Rhett Butler's advent doesn't sugarcoat it: the is a complete bastard. Margaret Mitchell, the woman that wrote the novel, didn't ~ do so otherwise. For this reason it's a tiny amazing how Rhett has been romanticized all these years as some type of hero.

He's not.

Love is Kind


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Once Rhett discovers Scarlett's an enig about Ashley, that goes the end of his means to humiliate her at every turn. He states things come her that no sane woman would tolerate -- and he walk it for the whole of the story.

Scarlett's an answer is to speak to Rhett name in frustration, but she never ever quite succeeds in standing as much as him. She is half his age, ~ all, which way she isn't together emotionally developed and also lacks the capability to stand approximately what is basically a predator.


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Because that's what Rhett is: a predator. The showers Scarlett with gifts as if he were luring a kid into his van. The does this continuously in-between belittling and also mocking her. Once Scarlett calls that out and also asks what that expects in return, the is increase front about his intentions: he speak Scarlett the he desires her to love him.

But love can not be attained through pretty hats and also silks and fine things. Actual love is not conditional. Imagine being through someone who only loves you because you offer them pretty hats! and yet, that's what Rhett wants. He wants to acquire Scarlett's love like a thing to be purchased.

Does Rhett also see Scarlett as a human being or as things to obtain? the is after ~ love, something the can't also comprehend, miscellaneous he has actually no idea exactly how to provide to Scarlett -- and yet that expects it from her! how selfish is that?

What's worse, Rhett shows many times just just how much the "loves" Scarlett through abandoning her whenever she requirements him. Transparent the story, she is frequently backed right into a corner and also in desperate need of his help, just to be insulted and belittled by him almost everywhere again.


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During the scene where Rhett is help Scarlett go home, Rhett decides to leaving Scarlett for this reason he can go and aid the Confederates do a last stand.

There to be no reason whatsoever to give up Scarlett in a wagon through a pregnant mrs in the center of a war zone. None. It to be a completely selfish act. Rhett essentially left Scarlett, Melanie, and Prissy to dice so that he might soothe his ego through playing battle hero at the last minute. Had actually he loved Scarlett, that would have actually stayed v her every the method to Tara.

Let's no dwell on the reality that he also forced a rapey kiss on her while she shouted because that him to let go.

Love is Patient


Then there to be the scene in the jail cell. Scarlett and also her household are ~ above the verge of homelessness due to the fact that they can't pay taxes top top Tara. Scarlett goes to Rhett trying come charm him into gaining his help. She isn't honest since she doesn't believe he'll assist her otherwise.


Rhett loses patience when he realizes the truth and launches a present of insults at Scarlett. In the book, i recall it being ten times worse. He hates Scarlett because she doesn't love him -- together if love someone to be a choice, as if we might just force ourselves to autumn in love with people.

Yes, it was wrong because that Scarlett to try to cheat Rhett. However Scarlett was likewise destitute and desperate, and given that Rhett had been therefore verbally devilish in the past, why would certainly she think he'd assist her just because she asked?

Rhett couldn't accessibility his accumulation to assist Scarlett even if he want to, but if he love her, the would have actually had an ext compassion for she situation. And also he wouldn't have actually torn her to shreds verbally either.


Rhett's predatory behavior continues when he convinces a drunk Scarlett to marry him. Up till now, Scarlett has presented nothing however hatred toward Rhett, peppered v a grudging yongin of his sometimes amusing existence.


What's more, once Rhett proposes, she doesn't require him. She's currently built it s her up from nothing and also is fairly wealthy. There's no golden carrot Rhett have the right to wave over she head to lure her now -- which he actually acknowledges in the film. The truth that Scarlett is drunk and vulnerable while grieving she mistakes through her (recently) deceased husband provides her simple prey, and Rhett just moves best in.


I firmly think that, had she been sober, Scarlett never would have agreed come marry Rhett.

Love is never ever Jealous or Envious


Without trust, there is no love, and Rhett never trusted Scarlett.

Rhett spends most of their marriage hanging out with his old girlfriend and probably resting with her. In the book, he to be angry v Scarlett for thinking of Ashley while lock were having sex -- together if that didn't marry her knowing she was in love with someone else. Scarlett flatly speak Rhett the she's in love through Ashley Wilkes the work he proposes to she (she never ever lied around anything), and also his an answer is to grab her, force a kiss ~ above her, and also then need that she marry that -- and also she drunkenly claims yes.


Rhett is responsible for his own misery yet consistently blames Scarlett. That complains come Belle Watling that Scarlett is cold and doesn't have actually a love -- again, as if Scarlett to be cruelly withholding her love due to the fact that we all have the an option to simply love everyone who demands it.

Scarlett can't aid that she doesn't love Rhett. She has actually no manage over that. And also why the hell does Rhett intend Scarlett come love him after year of verbal abuse and also sexual harassment?


Scarlett was no point of view -- the most delightful thing about her character is that she's for this reason (tragically) flawed -- but she did not deserve the means Rhett treated her.


A drunken Rhett later on ravishes Scarlett after an ext rumors spread about Scarlett and Ashley. This was pretty lot rape. The victim enjoy it the attack doesn't do it any type of less of one assault. If i beat the crap the end of an old man and also he eagerly asks me come continue, I'm quiet wrong because that beating the crap the end of one old man. Rhett was wrong because that forcing self on Scarlett.


No. Doesn't issue that he to be drunk. Alcohol doesn't produce behavior. That gives world the vessel to execute what they already want come do.


When Scarlett announces that she's pregnant with Rhett's 2nd child, Rhett's solution is to verbally trash her yet again. He says incredibly awful points to her, which leads to she almost dying. She flies at the in a rage, and also when he sidesteps her, she drops down the stairway . . . And also loses the baby.


While Scarlett is feverish, she calls for Rhett, having developed affection for she serial abuser. Rhett never ever goes come her, rather remaining in the various other room in anguish -- aka guilt.

Rhett and Scarlett's love is collection up as a bunch the near-misses that eventually lead come the ultimate degradation of your marriage. In reality, their marriage was in shambles from job one: Scarlett remained in love through someone else and also Rhett to be forever bitter and also trying come punish she for it.


Finally, after ~ Melanie's death, Scarlett pertains to the realization that she never ever loved Ashley and also that he never ever loved her, only lusted because that her. Realizing she has actually nothing left, she decides she "loves" Rhett and also rushes home to tell him.

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Ironically, Rhett has pertained to the realization that he never ever loved Scarlett and also was wasting his time chasing a dream. There was a moment right prior to Bonnie's fatality when he realized what a bastard he was and decided to shot to change, but Bonnie's fatality -- as he states in the film -- was the death of your marriage.


And so, Rhett ultimately admits to self what should have been apparent all along: