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Gone with the Wind | Study Guide

Margaret Mitchell

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Gone with the Wind | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • April 1861

    Scarlett flirts with many men but secretly longs for Ashley.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • The next day

    As the Civil War begins, Scarlett meets and fights with Rhett and gets engaged to Charles.

    Part 1, Chapter 6
  • A few months later

    Scarlett becomes a widow and a mother; she moves to Atlanta to live with Charles's family.

    Part 1, Chapter 7
  • A year later

    Encouraged by Rhett, Scarlett stops wearing mourning clothes and starts flirting again.

    Part 2, Chapter 9
  • September 1864

    As the Yankees approach, Rhett helps Melanie and Scarlett evacuate; then he abandons them.

    Part 3, Chapter 23
  • The next day

    Scarlett gets everyone to Tara, but her mother is dead, her sisters ill, and her father feeble.

    Part 3, Chapter 24
  • 1865

    Scarlett fights off the Yankees and saves Tara from a fire, but everyone at Tara is starving.

    Part 3, Chapter 26
  • January 1866

    Scarlett tries and fails to get money from Rhett; she then steals Frank from her sister and marries him.

    Part 4, Chapter 34
  • A month later

    Always eager to make money, Scarlett buys and runs a sawmill despite Frank's disapproval.

    Part 4, Chapter 36
  • June 1866

    Scarlett's father dies in an accident after Suellen's schemes go awry.

    Part 4, Chapter 39
  • March 1867

    The Klan goes after Scarlett's attackers. Frank is killed, but Rhett saves Ashley.

    Part 4, Chapter 45
  • April 1868

    Rhett marries Scarlett; they are mostly happy, but he resents her feelings for Ashley.

    Part 5, Chapter 48
  • A year later

    Scarlett is disappointed to be pregnant again; after Bonnie is born, Rhett adores her.

    Part 5, Chapter 50
  • Two years later

    Scarlett is seen in Ashley's arms; it is a friendly gesture, but rumors spread.

    Part 5, Chapter 53
  • Three months later

    Scarlett falls down and has a miscarriage; Rhett blames himself.

    Part 5, Chapter 56
  • A year later

    Bonnie dies in a riding accident; Rhett and Scarlett are devastated.

    Part 5, Chapter 59
  • Months later

    As Melanie is dying, Scarlett realizes she never loved Ashley: she loves Rhett.

    Part 5, Chapter 61
  • A short while later

    Scarlett confesses her love to Rhett, but he no longer cares. Rhett leaves her.

    Part 5, Chapter 63

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Part 1, Chapters 1–2 It's springtime in 1861, and Scarlett O'Hara, age 16, sits on the porch of her family's Georgia plantation house with ... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 3–4 Chapter 3 provides the backstory of Ellen Robillard and Gerald O'Hara. Ellen, who comes from a wealthy family, is the ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 5 Scarlett argues with Mammy about eating and about which dress to wear to the barbecue, but she gets her way. She complai... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 6 Scarlett's plan is to make sure every man at the barbecue fusses over her, and she succeeds. She even has her sister Sue... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 7 Scarlett and Charles marry, and so do Ashley and Melanie. Soon after Charles, Ashley, and all the young men go off to wa... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 8–9 Life in Atlanta is much busier, which Scarlett enjoys. She volunteers to care for soldiers at the war hospitals becaus... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 10–11 After the ball Aunt Pittypat is horrified by Scarlett's behavior and tells Scarlett she must avoid Rhett. When Rhett p... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 12–13 Supplies are beginning to run low. The war is not ending as quickly as the Southerners hoped, but Scarlett is too busy... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 14–16 The Battle of Gettysburg takes place in July 1863, and Confederate losses are heavy. Much of Atlanta waits to see the ... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 17–18 The Confederates are losing the war. Food is scarce; the hospitals are overflowing. One day Scarlett simply can't stan... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 19–20 Scarlett, Melanie, Wade, and Prissy are trapped in Atlanta. Wade is frightened and clings to Scarlett, who only sees h... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 21–22 The Confederates are fleeing Atlanta, the Yankees are coming, and Melanie is in labor. Unable to get anyone outside th... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 23 Atlanta is on fire as the Confederates destroy their supplies rather than let the Yankees have them. Rhett arrives, driv... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 24 Everyone spends the night in the wagon, exhausted and thirsty. They make their way to Tara, passing once-familiar planta... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 25 Scarlett is facing the crisis head on, but many others at Tara are not. Gerald's mind has snapped; he believes Ellen in ... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 26–27 Scarlett, Melanie, the children, and Scarlett's two ailing sisters are home alone one day when a Yankee deserter tries... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 28–29 After the Yankees come through, everything is worse than before: less food, more houses destroyed. Scarlett struggles ... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 30 Confederate soldiers often stop at Tara on their way home. One of them, Will Benteen, becomes a vital part of Tara. Will... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 31–32 Will warns Scarlett about carpetbaggers and scallawags who are conspiring to take Tara away from her. These groups now... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 33–34 Scarlett and Mammy travel to Atlanta to stay with Aunt Pittypat. The town is greatly changed, and Aunt Pittypat tells ... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 35–36 Scarlett tries to make her way home in the pouring rain. Frank Kennedy spots her and offers her a ride. As he makes co... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 37–38 Late one night Tony Fontaine, one of the boys from the region around Tara, shows up at Scarlett and Frank's door. He h... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 39–40 Will picks Scarlett up at the train station; he tells her Gerald's death was Suellen's fault. Eager to get money from ... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 41–42 Scarlett gives Gerald's watch to Pork as a thank-you gift, and Pork is overwhelmed by her generosity. Then she arrange... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 43 Scarlett is sitting on the porch holding Ella when Rhett reappears. He explains his father has died and he has been help... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 44 Scarlett is driving herself to the mill when a large African American man appears on the side of the road. She is fright... Read More
Part 4, Chapters 45–46 Frank seems to take Scarlett's attack very calmly, and she is furious when he heads off to his regular political meeti... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 47 Scarlett is alone in her room. Everyone is trying to give her privacy in her grief, but she is more scared than sad. She... Read More
Part 5, Chapters 48–49 Married life with Rhett can be a lot of fun. Rhett introduces Scarlett to exciting people, though they have questionab... Read More
Part 5, Chapters 50–51 Scarlett often wonders why Rhett married her; she can't figure out how he feels about her. She is quite clear about ho... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 52 One afternoon Wade mopes around the house because he wasn't invited to a birthday party every other child is attending. ... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 53 Melanie is hosting a surprise party for Ashley's birthday. She asks Scarlett to go down to the mill and delay Ashley so ... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 54 Melanie prevents scandal by keeping Scarlett at her side throughout the party. When she gets home, Scarlett is shaking f... Read More
Part 5, Chapters 55–56 Scarlett tries to talk to Melanie about her embrace with Ashley, but Melanie won't listen. She trusts Scarlett and Ash... Read More
Part 5, Chapters 57–58 Rhett sends Scarlett, Wade, and Ella to Tara so Scarlett can heal. Then Rhett goes to visit Melanie. He tells her he w... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 59 Bonnie is spoiled; Rhett will allow her to have anything and do anything. She won't listen to anyone else, even Scarlett... Read More
Part 5, Chapters 60–61 After Bonnie's death, everything is wrong. Scarlett is depressed; Rhett is even more so. Rhett begins drinking heavily... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 62 Scarlett is too upset to be patient with the mourners in Melanie's house, and she begins to walk home. She feels lost in... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 63 Rhett is at home, sober for once. He calls Melanie "a great lady," and then he points out it's very convenient for Scarl... Read More
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