Gone with the Wind

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One of the most successful films all time -- adjusted for inflation, its box office take is still two hundred million ahead of its closest rival, Star Wars -- Gone with the Wind is a romantic epic about an indomitable and ruthless Southern belle, stretching from just before The American Civil War through much of Reconstruction.

Both the source novel and the studios of the Golden Age of Hollywood tended to romanticize the South, and so this is one of the most romantic films ever made, whether you want it to be or not.

Filmed in 1939 (having been in development since just after the book's publication in 1936) in glorious Technicolor.

The original novel was written by Margaret Mitchell. It was followed by Scarlett, a sequel professional Fanfic, which was later adapted into a Miniseries. A prequel, Rhett Butler's People, has been published, telling the story from Rhett's perspective, and has a different ending than Scarlett. Another sequel by the name of Winds of Tara has been published. Bear in mind that this has another ending for those who are not happy with Scarlett. More recently, an alternate point-of-view parody has been written called The Wind Done Gone, which is the entire book written from the point of view of Scarlett's mulatto half-sister, whom she never notices in the original novel, and who Rhett himself takes as a lover. No explicit names are used, interestingly.

In 2008, a musical production ran on the West End in London. It was savaged by the critics and closed early.

As of May 2012, only five of the original cast members are still alive: Olivia de Havilland, Ann Rutherford, Mickey Kuhn, Alicia Rhett, and Mary Anderson.


Tropes used in Gone with the Wind include:

Dr. Meade: The mountain fastnesses has always been the refuge and the strong forts of people since the ancient times. Think of - think of Thermopylae!
Rhett: They died to the last man at Thermopylae, didn't they, Doctor?

  • Babies Make Everything Better: Melanie is very fond of this idea, and Frank believes that if Scarlett becomes pregnant, she will stop caring about her business and settle into motherhood. He is very mistaken, however.
    • Even the shrewd, cynical Scarlett seems to believe this when she gets pregnant for the fourth time and is happy about it for the first time--she thinks the baby will be the key to reconciling with Rhett. Unfortunately this ends up being completely inverted--she miscarries and it's the beginning of the end for them. Later, after Bonnie's death, she admits that she would be willing to have another child if that what's it will take to bring Rhett out of his grief.
  • Betty and Veronica: Two examples, both of them subversions:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Melanie's reaction to Scarlett killing a Union deserter was "I'm glad you killed him!" And she pulled out a pistol when she thought Yankee soldiers were about to break into her home.
    • This is never shown in the book, but in the movie, when Suellen is sobbing over Scarlett having married her fiancee right under her nose, it sounds that Melanie says something to Suellen like, "Well she had to do it to save Tara." Which means not only, that Scarlett openly told everyone her reasons for marrying Frank, but that Melanie is completely on board with Scarlett doing this.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rhett does this a couple of times, but never completely successfully.
  • Big Fancy House: Tara, Twelve Oaks, Mimosa, Fairhill, all the other plantations within vicinity of Tara, possibly as well the house that Scarlett builds in Atlanta when she marries Rhett, although Rhett never loses an opportunity to slip in a remark about how grotesque it is.
  • Big Sister Bully: Scarlett, while the protagonist of the story is very likely one to Suellen and Carreen.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When she cares enough, Scarlett can manipulate almost any man into thinking of her as a sweet, innocent, delicate flower of womanhood.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even though Melanie has died and Rhett has left her, Scarlett still finds strength in remembering Tara and resolves to never give up.
    • She actually says something along the lines of "Tomorrow is another day." Earlier in the book, she regularly said that she'd "think about it (some troubling situation that she needed to handle) tomorrow", which really meant that it was never going to happen.
  • Black Sheep: Rhett's prominent, wealthy (before the war) family managed to blacklist him not only from their own estate, but the entire city of Charleston.
  • Book Dumb: Scarlett, in everything but math.
    • Also, Mammy.
  • Bumbling Dad: Gerald O'Hara who, unbeknownst to him, is the least respected person on his entire plantation. At least he managed to acquire his plantation and build it up.
    • Respected he might not be, but he's well-liked by his neighbors and loved by his family (and even several of his slaves; his valet, Pork, is heartbroken when he dies).
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rhett does confess his feelings to Scarlett a few times, but he invariably subverts his confessions by chickening out and convincing her he's making fun of her. He justifies this by saying that if she knew about his feelings, she'd make his life a living hell; but it becomes more and more obvious as the story progresses that she's already done that.
    • Not to mention that Rhett outright lies, once or twice, when Scarlett asks him point-blank if he's in love with her. Once, when Scarlett reveals that she's been considering an abortion, Rhett reacts in outrage and horror, and then when the amazed Scarlett tells him she didn't know he cared that much about her, he switches gears and casually replies that he just doesn't want to lose a good investment.
      • Scarlett would have given up on Ashley if he had just told her he truly loves Melanie.
      • Scarlett never getting a chance to explain to Rhett that the embrace she and Ashley were caught in was completely innocent.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The one time Scarlett connects to Ashley on a real emotional level without any thought of seducing him, she is caught in the act by Moral Guardians. Very frustrating given all the actually immoral things she's done and gotten away with.
  • Cartwright Curse: At least for Scarlett's first couple husbands.
  • Charity Ball: Scarlett O'Hara scandalously insists on going to one for the Southern cause, despite having recently been widowed and therefore expected to be in mourning, mostly because she's bored and refuses to pass up the chance for a party. This is where she reconnects with Rhett Butler.
  • The Charmer: When Rhett wants people to like him, he's all but irresistible; but usually he can't be bothered.
    • Scarlett, too applies, she can make herself irresistible, usually to men with charms.
  • City Mouse: Scarlett, despite growing up at Tara, becomes a city mouse when she's forced to actually take care of Tara, doing tasks such as cooking, milking cows, and picking cotton. Suellen, Carreen, Melanie all qualify as well.
  • Comically Missing the Point

Dr. Meade: (to Scarlett) You have to stay here and help Melly have her baby.
Aunt Pitty: Without a chaperone? That would be most improper.
Dr. Meade: Good heavens, woman, this is war, not a garden party!

  • Convenient Miscarriage: Scarlett takes a fall down a flight of stairs, and Melanie has a miscarriage which eventually leads to her death.
  • Cultured Warrior: Ashley is the leader of his troop due to his excellent marksmanship and leadership skills, but most of his men find his habit of reading literature and discussing philosophy very strange.
  • Curtain Clothing: One of the most famous cases.
  • Cute Kitten: What Bonnie brought back home from London.
  • Daddy's Girl: Bonnie and Rhett, as well as Gerald and Scarlett.
  • Damsel in Distress: Played straight and subverted. Scarlett depends on Rhett to rescue her from Atlanta, but when he abandons her outside the city to join the Confederate army she takes charge.
    • Scarlett also feigns to be this both to manipulate male customers into patronizing her sawmill as well as to try to get some sort of response from Ashley.
  • Dances and Balls
  • The Dandy: Pittypat claims that Rhett is one in the book. There are the Fontaine boys prior to the war, as well.
  • Dangerous Deserter: Scarlett kills one and Melanie helps hide the body.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rhett in regards to nearly everything, from the impossibility of the Confederacy winning the war to the ridiculous expectations put on women in the 1860s. Routinely, no one understands his comments/everyone is offended by them.
  • Deconstruction: In the book, southern belles are more or less trained not to care about people, and merely become pretty dolls devoid of personal wishes or emotion that are supposed to attract husbands. Scarlett is. For all its implications.
  • The Deep South
  • Defiled Forever: Part of the reason why Rhett is not received by any fine family in Charlston is that he refused to marry a girl he had been out with for too long without a chaperon.
  • Demoted to Extra: Several cases in the movie, as a result of Adaptation Distillation. Justified in that the book was a Doorstopper and the movie was massive enough as is.
    • Poor Will. In the book is an important aid and sounding board to Scarlett after her family nurses him to health. He even marries Sueellen, somewhat mitigated the sad (but somewhat deserved) position she is in after Scarlett marries her longtime beau.
    • Pity Scarlett's children from her first two marriages. In the book, they exist pretty much to be emotionally neglected by Scarlett, her son Wade Hamilton is a nervous wreck, her daughter Ella Kennedy is implied to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and the only people who seem to care about them are their aunt omnibenevolent Melanie and their stepfather Rhett (who half the time is too busy spoiling his own child (literally) to death to care). They don't even exist in the movie.
    • Scarlett's sisters, while existent, are largely glossed over, particularly Carreen.
  • Destructive Romance: Rhett and Scarlett.
  • The Determinator: Scarlett and more subtly, Melanie.
  • Determined Homesteader: Scarlett O'Hara.Her father tells her, "Land's the only thing that matters. It's the only thing that lasts!" And everything she does - lie, cheat, steal, and kill - is just as much to protect Tara, her home, as it is to protect the people who live there.
  • Determined Widow: Scarlett, again. Somewhat different than the usual case in that she is the hero, and purposely using the inherent sympathy of her situation to manipulate others.
  • Deus Angst Machina and Trauma Conga Line: No matter how you feel about Scarlett as the protagonist, you have to admit a lot of bad stuff happens to her.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Because of where the few mentions of war are placed, the pregnancy ends up lasting 22 months.
    • Only in the movie. Margaret Mitchell is bound and determined to show her work historically speaking, adding to the book's Doorstopper quality.
    • This doesn't apply to the movie either, but because they aren't entirely clear in the movie the mistake is easily made. Melanie gets pregnant around Christmas 1863 (according to Ashley's furlough letter) and Beau is born in September 1864 during the first burning of Atlanta. What people generally refer to as the Burning of Atlanta was actually the second burning, which took place in November 1864. The mistake is easily made, but Rhett mentions the Confederate army blowing up Hood's ammunition train, which makes it the first burning.
  • The Ditz: Pittypat.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Scarlett cannot stand being pitied.
  • Doorstopper: The book is 960 pages. The film is over 3½ hours long (and it leaves out a lot of things).
  • Drama Queen: Aunt Pittypat will faint over any improper or scandalous thing.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Rhett, right after a misunderstanding has led the entire town to believe that Ashley and Scarlett are having an affair, gets really, really drunk.
    • He does it again when he believes Scarlett is about to die from a miscarriage that he is responsible for.
    • And again in the book after Bonnie's death.
  • Drunken Song: When Gerald is drunk, he sings a song called "Peg in a Low-Backed Car". Ashley and Rhett pretend to be singing drunkenly to fool the Yankee soldiers into thinking they were out getting wasted instead of avenging the attack on Scarlett, for which they could be imprisoned or even hanged.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Both Scarlett and Rhett qualify.
    • Hmmm, maybe in the movie. In the book Rhett is described as "swarthy".
  • End of an Age: The fall of the Confederacy, which affects every character in one way or another.
  • Epic Movie: A celebrated example, one of the Trope Makers, almost synonymous with the concept itself.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Both Scarlett and Rhett, despite all their other moral failings, are very fond of their mothers. Scarlett's is her Morality Chain. Rhett financially supports his mother after the war, even being respectful enough to maintain her reputations by making it appear publicly that the money is from another source.
  • Fashions Never Change: Averted. Circle crinolines gradually give way to bustles.
  • Fatal Flaw: Scarlett and her inability to understand the emotional motivations of anyone, including herself.
  • Femme Fatale/The Vamp: Scarlett is one or the other, depending on your interpretation. In either case, she's a rare example of a protagonist with said role.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Scarlett's red dress.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Scarlett's first two marriages are somewhat like this. Justified because such marriages were not uncommon at the time the story is set.
  • Freak-Out: Rhett has one of these in front of Melanie out of extreme guilt following Scarlett's miscarriage, due to both his recognition (if not in so many words) of the rape it resulted from and his cruelty to her.
  • Funetik Aksent: Mammy and Prissy do this, especially in the book.
    • All the "darkies" actually. As well as pretty much anyone who isn't from a finer family. Will Benteen and Belle Watling come to mind, and Gerald exhibits a stereotypical Irish accent as well (see Funny Foreigner below).
  • Funny Foreigner: Gerald O'Hara is a stereotypical Irishman to the nth degree.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." The last word was forbidden by the Hays Code, but the code was modified specifically so that the word could stay, so this is probably an example of getting the radar past the crap. And it still cost the studio about $5,000 in fines back when that meant something.

Rhett: "You need kissing badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.

    • Scarlett: (When she first sees Rhett looking at her) "He looks as if--as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy."
    • There's also Melanie having to strip naked so her nightgown can be used to mop up the blood of the dead soldier.
  • Gold Digger: Scarlett is one of these in regards to Frank Kennedy (whom she marries to pay the lucrative taxes on Tara) and Rhett (whom she marries partially because he's freakin' loaded, partially because she's attracted to him and unable to realize or understand it).
  • Gorgeous Period Dress
  • Gossipy Hens: The housewives of Atlanta, especially as concerns Scarlett.
  • Grande Dame: Ellen can be considered a rare, genuine example, but Mrs. Merriwhether, Aunt Pittypat and the other matrons of Atlanta would like to be considered this.
  • Granny Classic: Grandma Fontaine, especially to Scarlett.
  • Greed: Scarlett becomes obsessed with acquiring more and more material wealth to make sure that both she and her family will "never go hungry again." Somewhat more sympathetic than most cases as she has obviously been deeply traumatized (even years later, she routinely has nightmares about hunger and poverty) and is trying to protect herself in the only way she knows, but it still drives her to do things that are incredibly morally dubious.
  • Half Truth: "I'm not any more in love with you than you are with me" being one of many.
  • Handsome Devil / Handsome Lech: Rhett.
  • Hello, Nurse!: While Scarlett is actively described as "not a beautiful woman", she has this effect on more or less every man she meets.
  • Heroic BSOD: Scarlett undergoes a version of this following her miscarriage.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Largely averted; Rhett is privately an atheist, but not particularly vocal or strident. He does tease Scarlett when she is melodramatically convinced she's going to hell but his criticism is more centered around her obvious hypocrisy.
  • Hollywood Costuming: Scarlett's makeup, for one thing.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Rhett and Scarlett.
  • Honor Before Reason: Averted by Scarlett unlike her neighbors who hold onto honor rather than get along with the Yankees.
    • Rhett actually succumbs to this when he joins the Confederate cause AFTER it's lost.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Belle Watling, who is definitely a better human being than Scarlett.
  • I Gave My Word: Scarlett promised Ashley to take care of Mellie during her pregnancy.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Melanie was supposed to be this originally; due to Values Dissonance, not today.
  • The Ingenue: Melanie is a perpetual ingenue.
  • Intermission
  • "It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It": Scarlett apparently enjoyed the "surprise sex" very much. How disturbing. Given Scarlett's Fatal Flaw above, though, it's understandable.
  • Jive Turkey
  • Kick the Dog: Scarlett does this constantly in both mediums:
    • Manipulating two relatively innocent men into marrying her, one of whom is engaged to her sister.
    • Spending her second marriage running and ruining the life of her husband.
    • Emotionally neglecting of her children from her first two marriages.
    • Contracting prison labor for her sawmill and enabling an overseer she knows abuses the prisoners.
      • Your Mileage May Vary. In the book when her white friends complain because of the prison labor, she furiously calls them on their hypocrisy, reminding them that up until recently they had had slaves. In the movie, Ashley answers that "it's not the same", because he would have freed his slaves when his father had died (and he seems to think he has the moral high ground there). The book is worse, the narrator stating that it was different because the blacks had been better as slaves. Scarlett is meant to be the unsympathetic bitch that *gasp* enslaves whites. She's actually the only character honest enough to say she only wants money and prosperity, and is willing to enslave anyone, regardless of their skin color. Due to Values Dissonance, what made Scarlett a bitch in the 40s, makes her the most sincere character of the cast now, and makes everyone else (except Rhett) annoying hypocrites. Because Melanie and Ashley don't like the prison labor, but in fact, they basically live off Scarlett and off said prison labor.
    • Heck, in the first chapter she is revealed to have stolen another girl's near-fiancé merely because it irritated her to see a man showing interest in anyone but her. A girl who's neither beautiful nor popular and is said to have no chance getting another man but him.
    • Let's not forget her brutally cruel treatment of Rhett after Bonnie's death--she outright calls him a murderer.
      • Justified in that she was also grieving after her daughter died, though perhaps not as much as Rhett.
    • Rhett gives as good as he gets:
      • He's often downright verbally abusive to Scarlett.
      • Threatens her with physical violence on several occasions and ultimately carries it out the night he forces himself on her--this is after threatening to tear her "limb from limb" or "crush her skull".
      • Pulls a disappearing act afterwards and when he finally shows up, throws it in her face that he slept with another woman, completely oblivious to the fact that Scarlett wants to work things out with him.
      • And that's just one of several times that he rebuffs Scarlett every time she genuinely tries to reach out to him, the worst example of this being when she tells him she's pregnant again. Up until then, she's been happy about it, hoping that they have a chance to reconcile. His reaction? To ask who the father is (knowing full well it's the result of him raping her) and go completely over the Moral Event Horizon by telling her to "Cheer up, maybe you'll have a miscarriage."
      • And you know. Rape.
  • Kissing Cousins: Members of the Wilkes family marry their cousins whenever possible, one of the main reasons Scarlett initially loses out to Melanie.
    • In the book, Ellen O'Hara is also shown to have been in love with her cousin Phillipe.
    • Truth in Television - marriage between second and third cousins was not uncommon in the 19th century and before (and very common in some circles - one need only consult a family tree of 19th-century European royalty).
  • Kiss Kiss Slap: When Rhett rescues Scarlett out of the burning Atlanta, then abandons her to go fight in the Confederate Army, before leaving, he kisses her; she enjoys it, but then gets mad and slaps him.
  • Lady Drunk: The extreme stress she is put under after the war causes Scarlett to become a younger one of these, but she manages to keep it a secret from everyone except Rhett (and he finds out only because he happened to call on her while she was still trying to get rid of the fumes on her breath from a guilt-induced bender after Frank Kennedy's death).
  • Lady in Red: Scarlett fulfills this role at Ashley's party after a scandal in polite society - invoked by Rhett, who angrily insists that she look the part of The Vamp.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Rhett is one of these in regards to Scarlett, and Scarlett is a female version in regards to Ashley. It doesn't stop them from owning a brothel and marrying other men, respectively.
  • Land Poor: Scarlett, post-war.
  • Large Ham: "As God as my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" Admittedly, it's also kind of a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Is there some reason it can't be both?
    • "Tomorrow- is another day!"
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Melanie is the Light Feminine, while Scarlett is the Dark Feminine.
  • Literary Necrophilia: "Scarlett", "Rhett Butler's People", "Winds of Tara", "Wind Done Gone".
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In the book especially, with Rhett, Scarlett, Ashley, Melanie, and Mammy as main characters, but then with lots of lots of smaller characters, like Gerald, Ellen, Pittypat, Suellen, Will, India, etc, etc.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Gerald won Pork in poker game, as well as the deed to Tara.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Even more so in the book than the movie. Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton as her first husband, who was Honey Wilkes' beau, whose sister is India, whose beau Stuart Scarlett also stole along with his twin brother Brent, who eventually became her younger sister Carreen's sweetheart, who Will falls in love with after the war but marries Scarlett's other sister Suellen instead after Scarlett marries her fiance Frank Kennedy....and on and on and on.
  • Love Epiphany: Scarlett finally has one when she realizes that she doesn't love Ashley, and has always loved Rhett. She also sort of has one with Melanie, but she realizes that Melanie is her best friend, and has always been there for Scarlett, defending her. Unfortunately, both of these come far too late.
  • Loving a Shadow: Ellen with her cousin Phillippe. Apparently, a sixteen year old whose crush has died will never love again. Scarlett too, in regards to Ashley. She even describes her idea in the book as "a pretty set of clothes" that she forced Ashley to wear. Also, Carreen with Brent Tarleton. She fell in love with him when she was 13 and never loves again after he's killed in the war, preferring to go into a convent. It must run in the family--Gerald is so devastated by Ellen's death that he goes mad to the point where he frequently forgets that she's gone.
    • India Wilkes, too. In the book, it is well known that Stuart Tarleton would have married her had he not been killed in the war, so she's essentially treated like a widow and is quite proud to act like one.
  • Mama Bear: Most of the time Scarlett shows less motherly affection than a caterpillar. But when the Yankees try to take Wade's sword she goes into full Mama Bear mode and manages to convince the soldiers not to take it. It's one of the few times she shows that she does love her son. Other moments include when Tara is set on fire and Wade appears to have died, she's devastated--and relieved when it turns out he's okay.
  • Mammy
  • Manipulative Bastard: Scarlett and Rhett both revel in this. Naturally, it makes their relationship somewhat difficult.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Scarlett. Dear God, Scarlett.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Rhett, while not a villain per say, is (along with Scarlett) one of the most morally ambiguous main characters and whenever possible extremely well-dressed. He's fashionable to the point where he's called about by Atlanta's female population for style tips and that when he is in prison, the jailers punish him by not letting him groom.
  • May-December Romance: When Rhett and Scarlett meet, she's sixteen and he's thirty-five, and her second husband Frank Kennedy (who was in fact courting Scarlett's younger sister for several years) was significantly older than Rhett. Rhett actually describes himself as a "husband of the right age" for Scarlett as compared to Frank and her first husband Charles (who was about Scarlett's age). This is mainly Values Dissonance, as at the time women generally married at a much younger age than men.
    • Gerald and Ellen also count, in the book, it said that Gerald is twenty-eight years older than Ellen.
  • The Messiah: Melanie.
  • Mock Millionaire
  • Morality Chain: At no point in the book or movie is Scarlett honestly a morally admirable human being, but after her mother Ellen dies, the puppies really start flying.
  • Morality Pet: While she usually treats her fellows white people like trash, she treats black people far more decency, even to the point that Pork, her father personal servant, told her when she gave him Gerald's watch as a present that if she would have treated white people like that, her life would have been much more pleasant.
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: "P.S. I also enclose Mrs. Hamilton's ring."
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Subverted. Rhett doesn't particularly care about Scarlett's previous sexual relationships; he just wants her to be emotionally attached to him.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!"
  • Nice Hat: Rhett has a snazzy Panama among many others, and even gives Scarlett her very own Nice Bonnet.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Ashley is the Noble Male, while Rhett is the Roguish Male.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Numerous assumptions and conventions are forever changed and destroyed over the course of the work (just look at the title!) but for Rhett and Scarlett's relationship, the major turning point is Bonnie's death.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Scarlett uses this, playing off the contemporary perception of women as pretty, helpless idiots, to her great advantage both in business and courtship.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Ashley. Additionally, when Scarlett visits the Yankee garrison, she is surprised to find that, contrary to what she has been told about their vicious, cruel natures, several of the Yankee officers fit this.
  • Oh Crap: When Scarlett and Rhett are outside watching their daughter Bonnie riding the pony she just got and starting to realize that Bonnie's just like Scarlett's father. It is a cruel bit of Mood Whiplash, too, since this is the same scene in which the two are starting to patch things up between them.

Scarlett:(dreamily) Just like pa... (bolts up, alarmed) Just like pa!

  • Older Than They Look: In the book, Melanie is described as having a underdeveloped, childlike figure. Probably not intentionally Fetish Fuel, as Ashley is implied to prefer Scarlett's physical attributes.
  • Old Retainer: Mammy, after the war.
  • One-Book Author
  • Only in It For the Money: Rhett.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Scarlett marries Charles to make Ashley jealous.
  • Papa Wolf: Rhett fills this trope, spoiling Bonnie rotten, he fires a nanny in the movie and a servant in the book for leaving Bonnie alone in the dark. He also has a revelation about his role in society after a discussion with Wade.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat
  • Period Piece: While both the book and movie are largely regarded to be this, they're arguable cases since they don't capture the reality of the time so much as an idealization of it.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Hoo boy there's no end to them.
  • Playing Drunk: Rhett, Ashley, and Dr. Meade fake being drunk in order to disguise the fact that Ashley has been shot while engaged in an act of vigilantism against the men who attacked Scarlett.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: A famous examples of the trope. See the tropes top of page quote.
  • Politically-Correct History: One common criticism of the film. It's gotten to the point where "Gone With The Wind" is synonymous with a view of American Civil War history that glorifies the Confederacy and downplays the importance of slavery.
  • Precision D Strike: The main reason they wanted Rhett's last words to be like in the book.
  • Pretty in Mink: Scarlett wears a few furs after she marries Rhett, to show her new wealth, such as an ermine-trimmed jacket and ermine muff.
  • Princess in Rags: Scarlett.
  • Professional Gambler: Rhett was one of these early in his life after being cast out by his father.
  • Proper Lady: Melanie, as befits a Foil for Scarlett.
    • Oddly enough, Charles Hamilton could be a male example.
  • Protectorate: Scarlett will do anything up to and including murder to protect Tara.
    • Additionally, after Scarlett saves her from the Siege of Atlanta, Melanie becomes determined to do everything in her power to protect Scarlett.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Essentially Scarlett's fate at the end of the book, as she always wanted money, social status, Ashley, and Melanie out of the way. She gets it all and the ending leaves her as a more unhappy woman than she was ever before.
  • Really Gets Around: Rhett owns a brothel.
    • Scarlett is the G-rated, 1800s upper class lady version of this, due to the fact that she has "beaus in five counties." In the novel, some of her peers actually describe her as "fast".
  • Rose-Tinted Narrative
  • Sassy Black Woman: Mammy (in the movie, she is arguably the most sensible and level-headed character).
  • Scarlet Fever: The Trope Codifier. Many female characters named Scarlett (with one or two T's) are some kind of Shout-Out to Miss O'Hara.
  • Screaming Birth: Melanie gives birth like this, but it's because her body shape is unfit for it. Averted with Scarlett, who gives birth easily, with almost no pain.
  • Settle for Sibling: Interesting case, Frank does this with Scarlett, believing that Suellen was engaged to someone else.
    • Additionally, Will settles for Suellen, when he is really in love Carreen.
  • Sexless Marriage: Rhett and Scarlett's marriage comes to fill this trope.
  • Shout-Out: Rhett often references and quotes classical works of literature, which fall utterly flat on Scarlett.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Despite flirting with just about every man she meets for fun, and marrying a few for spite/profit, the only man Scarlett is really attracted to for the majority of the book/film is Ashley.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Rhett and Scarlett are all over this one.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Goes up and down based on Scarlett's wealth at any given time.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Dixie" is played when the casualty list for the battle of Gettysburg is released. Even the band leader's son is dead.
  • Southern Belle: Need I explain?
    • At the time it was written, only Melanie qualified, with Scarlett as a glaring, man-chasing, morally bereft subversion. However the trope now encompasses both characters, and Scarlett's liberation is viewed more positively.
  • Southern Gentleman: Ashley is the most prominent example, but seems a deconstruction of the trope. A lot of other male characters qualify.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Scarlett, though she may be a darker version of the trope.
  • Spoiled Brat: Scarlett is raised as one of these. When she is forced to fend for herself and take charge of her family after the war, she is rudely awakened.
    • Her daughter with Rhett, Bonnie, is a tragic example; she is spoiled to such a degree by Rhett (even Scarlett warns him about her lack of discipline) that she is utterly disobedient and he is unable to stop her from making a dangerous jump with her pony that ends with her falling and breaking her neck.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Scarlett refuses to do this, running her own business, to the horror of her compatriots, with the exception of Rhett, and possibly Melanie.
  • Stepford Smiler: In the book, Ellen is revealed to be one of these, having become emotionally dead following the death of her cousin/lover.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Georgia, but close enough.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Rhett.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Melanie.
  • Tragic Hero: Scarlett and possibly Rhett as well.
  • Triang Relations
  • The Unfavorite: Suellen to Gerald.
    • When Bonnie has died, Scarlett wonders why it couldn't have been Ella instead. Poor girl.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Despite her numerous Gorgeous Period Dresses, Scarlett is an aversion. Rhett however is very into fashion, especially in the book, and seems to fit into this.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Scarlett in regards to Ashley, although Melanie likely knew him just as long.
  • Unreliable Narrator: If you ignore Scarlett's obstinate insistence throughout the book that she loves Ashley and that Rhett doesn't love her, you can actually see the evidence to the contrary very clearly.
  • Values Dissonance: Averted hard through Adaptation Distillation. In the movie, Frank, Ashley and some of the other men attack a shanty town to avenge the near-sexual assault of Scarlett. In the book, they do so as members of the Ku Klux Klan. Ask D.W. Griffith where that would have led.
  • Villain Protagonist: Scarlett, possibly. She's certainly morally dubious and if the story focused on any other character, she'd be extremely unsympathetic.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Scarlett, after she digs up a radish and takes a bite out of it.
  • War Is Hell: As experienced by Scarlett, Melanie, Wade, Mammy and Gerald as civilians. Also experienced by Ashley and Rhett as soldiers.
    • Rhett, who actually experienced quite a creditable stint in the Army of Tennessee's artillery after he joined the army following the fall of Atlanta (he marched with Hood in the disastrous Franklin Campaign and was with Joe Johnston at his surrender), is extremely reluctant to talk about his wartime experiences and only speaks of them to Wade so that the boy won't get mocked anymore by schoolmates.
  • Wartime Wedding: The book has quite a lot of engagements and weddings going on before, during, and after the war. It averts all three above.
    • Ashley Wilkes and Melanie Hamilton are engaged during the very beginning of war. He ultimately survives the war, but refuses to be called a hero, depressed of the war horrors.
    • Angry and humiliated with this (she had confessed to Ashley after hearing of the engagement plans), Scarlett married young Charles Hamilton a little later. He dies an unheroic death from measles a few weeks later, leaving Scarlett pregnant.
    • Later on, Scarlett seduces her sister's fiancee Frank Kennedy for his money to be able to pay Tara's taxes. She gives birth to his daughter, and soon he's shot during a Ku Klux Klan raid.
    • Right after Frank's death, Scarlett meets Rhett, and due to his manly charms and her drunken state, she agrees to marry him.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Scarlett (in the novel) is described as undergoing various emotional sensations that are clearly indicative of her physical and later emotional attraction to Rhett, but fails to understand them, partially due to the way that women were emotionally repressed at the time, partially because Scarlett is perhaps the least introspective character ever.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Scarlett blackmailed Ashley into becoming her business partner by crying about it to Melanie.