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Gone with the Wind | Study Guide

Margaret Mitchell

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Gone with the Wind | Part 1, Chapter 7 | Summary



Scarlett and Charles marry, and so do Ashley and Melanie. Soon after Charles, Ashley, and all the young men go off to war, Charles dies of illness in camp, and a few months later Scarlett gives birth to his son, Wade. Scarlett is miserable as a widow, not because she cared about Charles but because the behavior rules for widows are so strict. She is bored and unhappy, so when Melanie writes and asks her "sister" Scarlett to come to Atlanta, Scarlett agrees. Scarlett, Wade, and Wade's nurse slave, Prissy, will stay with Melanie and her aunt, Miss Pittypat, in Atlanta.


Scarlett acts like a spoiled teenager. She ricochets from one bad decision to the next, eager to protect her wounded pride and not caring who else gets hurt. In the mad dash of war, her teenage spite leads her to a marriage, a widowhood, and a pregnancy, all in short order. Had Charles lived, Scarlett no doubt would have regretted marrying him; now she regrets being widowed, since she is restricted in her behavior and appearance.

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