Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Love and longing for Miss Scarlett during the Civil War

by David Johnson

A 1937 Pulitzer Prize winner, Margaret Mitchell's historical novel, Gone With the Wind, is an American classic. The masterful book chronicles adventures of the tempestuous Scarlett O'Hara during and after the Civil War.

Despite her courage and her determination, Scarlett did not know herself, and spent considerable energy longing for the passive Ashley Wilkes. She disdained the disreputable war profiteer Captain Rhett Butler although they had much in common.

It took much misfortune for Scarlett to finally realize she really loved Rhett, who by then had grown tired of waiting for her affection. The novel ends on an ambiguous note, with Scarlett vowing to find away to win Rhett back.

The 1939 movie version, directed by Victor Fleming, is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made.

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