Scarlett O’ Hara
September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
Margaret Mitchell’s Civil war classic starts with the following lines…
“Scarlett O’ Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. It was an arresting face, pointed of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and slightly tilted at the end.”
Scarlett O’Hara is the protagonist of the Civil war classic Gone With The Wind. It’s a novel later also made into the 1939 feature film starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett and the (utterly dashing..) Clarke Gable as Rhett Butler. I can only imagine how the director zeroed in on Ms. Leigh. It must have been so tough! It’s said that Katherine Hepburn was so keen on playing Scarlett that she walked into the producer’s office one day and said “I am Scarlett O’Hara! The role is practically written for me.” David replied rather bluntly, “I can’t imagine Rhett Butler chasing you for ten years.” It went to Vivien Leigh and what a role it was!
But it’s just Scarlett O’Hara.. she’s completely captivating. She’s a spoilt brat no doubt. She is this fiery selfish creature who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. And she wants the world mind you. Her world incidentally is the rather spineless Ashley. But even when she doesn’t get him she goes on. Living. One of the best female characters ever to come alive onscreen. Scarlett fights for what she wants. Eventually after all the hardships and the war she realizes her love for her land (the Tara plantation) just like her father. And then she does everything in her power to save Tara and the family. She’s very practical, rational, does not suffer fools gladly. She is selfish.. but somehow you never feel repelled by that quality of hers. She fights for the family just as she does for herself. Spirited, passionate in loving, passionate in living. With blazing green eyes which came alive when she’s angry. There’s one thing she respects more than anything else in the world and that is strength. She bears the burden for everyone around her. Because this lady here has balls!
Who can forget the scene where after days of hunger and hardships when she reaches home with Melanie, Melanie’s newborn baby, Prissy and a dead horse… on finding no food goes scrambling to the garden to dig out carrots only to find them rotten.. vows “As God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me! I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again! No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill! As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again! ”
She is her father’s daughter, with his heartiness and free spirit. But longs to be like her aristocratic and complete lady like mother. At the end of it all when Rhett leaves her through her tears she says “I ‘ll think of it tomorrow. Of some way to get him back. After all … tomorrow is another day.” Vivien Leigh plays Scarlett as if she was born to do just that. Her Scarlett towers over the docile Melanie… though I should say Melanie has her own place.. the different women! No two will be the same and these two are just the antithesis of each other!
“After all … tomorrow is another day.”
” I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
“I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far. ”
“Why does a girl have to be so silly to catch a husband? ”
After her (really silly..) first husband dies… “My life is over. Nothing will ever happen to me anymore.”
Rhett Butler : Did you ever think of marrying just for fun?
Scarlett : Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean.
Watch it for the drama, romance and the dresses. (I watch it Only for Rhett Butler. The original bad boy!) Most importantly… watch it for Scarlett O’Hara!