Feminism in Gone With the Wind Essay

1004 Words 5 Pages
In times of war, we find that all though out the history of America, there is some sense of a change. This holds true to time when the Civil War that was being fought in 1861, when the South was against the North. During this particular war in America, we take notice of changing roles in feminism with the cult of true womanhood. This cult is described to be a mold for the "perfect" woman. This is broken down into piety, domesticity, purity, and submission. Piety is devotion and reverence to parents and family. Domesticity is the quality of home life. Purity is the act of being pure and without blemish. Submission is total surrender of power to one another. In the visual text, Gone With the Wind, we are introduced to a dark haired, …show more content…
The South held many fundraisers to support their men in the war. In the movie, Scarlett is shown volunteering to work at one such event, in a booth. The ones in charge of the fundraiser ask for a donation of jewelry which is to be melted down to make ammunition for the war. Scarlett offers her wedding band from her first late husband.

At this same event, Scarlett steps out of the norm of a feminist. She is dressed in mourning after her first husband, Charles Hamilton, dies shortly after joining the army. Rhett Butler is in attendance and invites Scarlett to dance. This is where she exhibits her new role change and accepts his invitation. In normal widowhood, Scarlett would refrain from laughter and pleasure, such as dancing.

With history still in the making with the fighting of the Civil War, we find as the Old South slowly dies down, the New South is rising up. This is best shown thought Ashley and Melanie who represent everything the Old South is about. Ashley is one who stands for a southern gentlemen and Melanie who is gentle, soft spoken, and a southern belle. Melanie is one who follows the cult of true womanhood.

Another point showing that Scarlett O'Hara is not a feminist, is within her character traits. She has determination that will stop at nothing until she has concurred what she wants or needs to survive. This is complete opposite of submission, which falls under the cult of true womanhood. Scarlett is determined to survive and

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