Gone With The Wind-"Historical Accuracy in Civil War Period"
As many members of the younger generation who are not trained critical thinkers are apt to do, Melanie completely adopted the role and values of the generation of women like Ellen O’Hara before her. Scarlett’s annoyance with Melanie comes in part because she is such a goody-goody carbon copy of the always dignified, always gracious, matriarch. This is, of course, why Scarlett can bear the crumbling of the pre-Civil War South more than most of the women around her, she thinks for herself. However, Melanie is cut from the same mold as Ellen O’Hara. While her words are said in jealous anger, Scarlett’s depiction of Melanie to Ashley, despite all of Melanie’s worthy qualities, is typical of women of the era, “You’d rather live with that stupid little fool who can’t open her mouth except to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and raise a passel of mealy-mouthed brats just like her!” (Mitchell 103). Of course, Scarlett will come to appreciate Melanie’s reserves of strength, however, superficially she is typifying most women of the era who were lacking in education, trained to keep their opinions to themselves (particularly with men), and saw their chief role as mother and homemaker, “Her sphere is home. And whatever yearning her spirit may have felt for a higher existence…all is buried beneath the weight of undivid
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