Scarlett O’Hara is the protagonist in the novel "Gone with the Wind" written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936. The novel was later made into an epic movie by the same name. The main character, Scarlett O’Hara’s full name is Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler who is brought up on a southern Georgian plantation called Tara. The novel talks about the Scarlett’s romantic exploits against the background of historical events such as the Civil War and the Reconstruction Period .Scarlett O’Hara is the eldest of three sisters and lives a tranquil life at a cotton Plantation named Tara. Scarlett’s father is the Irish Gerald O’Hara while her mother is French-American. Scarlett' O Hara was always attracted to her next door man, Ashley Wilkes but she later turns her affections to Rhett Butler, a blockade runner pilot.
When Scarlett is sixteen she witnesses the Civil War and the risk to her plantation. Scarlett O’Hara is depicted as a narcissistic plantation belle who is tired of the war talk and all the disturbances caused by war. Inspite of having led a spoilt and lavish life at Tara, Scarlett is determined to protect her plantation and her family from the onslaught of the Yankees. Scarlett’s character shows a complete foil to the times she lived when women were expected to be obedient and lady-like. She stands up with great strength and grit to save her family and home from the effects of war.
When Scarlett O’Hara has to fend for her family she remembers her ancestors who never got overpowered by their misfortunes and draws inspiration from their strength and power. When Scarlett becomes nineteen she emerges as a strong woman though she is widowed with a young child. She faces each day with great determination and hope as reflected in her thoughts, “tomorrow is another day.” Scarlett O’Hara is a strong character who doesn’t hesitate to manage even the lumber mill business.
Scarlett O’Hara may have been a selfish, manipulative and spoiled brat but her unsurpassed strength and dignity was an inspiration for generations of women to come. Scarlett O'Hara may be full of imperfections but this is what made her come alive and gave her character certain depth and chance for growth. She is strong willed and makes sure to get things she desires. Scarlett O’Hara is admirable as she is portrayed as a strong female character at a time when women hardly had any strong role models to emulate either in fiction or in real life.
Scarlett’ O Hara’s growth reflects the development and change of the South from a leisure society to a war torn nation and later emerging as a survivor. Scarlett is portrayed initially as a spoiled teenager who grows into a hard-working widow and later transforms into a wealthy opportunist. Scarlett ‘O Hara represents both the Old and New South with her growth reflecting the transformation of the South during the Civil War. She is romantically drawn to Ashley who represents the idealized world of manners and chivalry but gets adapted to the harsh opportunism of the New South as she clings to Rhett who like her represents a mix of the old and new.