Academy award winning Gone With the Wind is a classic that will forever remain among some of the greatest love stories. This story follows Scarlett O’Hara as her life changes drastically before, during, and after the civil war. Scarlett faces death, famine and poverty as she attempts to maintain her home, the O’Hara plantation, and tries to find the love of Ashley Wilkes.
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As the story begins we learn of Scarlett’s love for Ashley as she attends a barbeque party at the Twelve Oaks plantation. Scarlett is soon faced with the delima that the love of her life is not only getting married to another woman, but he’s also headed to war. The civil war strikes the South and soon every young man Scarlett has known is sent off to war, many of which will never return. The beginning of the war truly marks the beginning of the hardest of times Scarlett faces. Throughout this essay I will compare and contrast how accurately Gone With the Wind represented the South during and after the Civil war.
The American civil war began on April 12, 1861 when the confederates invaded Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina (History.com editors). The North and the South were divided and tensions were high. The Union (The North) wished to free all slaves and maintain the U.S. as one country while the Confederacy (The South) were fighting for their rights to own slaves and wished to separate from the North in order to form their own government. The confederacy felt that it was their God given right to own slaves and even had men that would travel and give sermons on the matter (Vail). Threats of secession had arose in years prior but it wasn’t until the election of Abraham Lincoln, which the south felt was an act of war, that any of the states actually took action (History.com editors). Shortly after his election the first seven slave states seceded and the civil war began (McPherson).
At the beginning of the war, men in the South had a very patriotic outlook on the war which was very well represented in the movie during the barbeque party (Vail). War was the top subject of discussion by many of the men in the movie, they all wished that the war would start and hoped that they could go off and fight for their country.
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