International Women's Day

Scarlett O’Hara: A Classic Woman Ahead of Her Time

todayMarch 8, 2017 469

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By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor

In light of International Women’s Day, I began to think of movie characters that were impactful and universal. Scarlett O’Hara had unconventional philosophies, but she’s a powerful character that can speak to women for many generations to come.  

In eighth grade, I saw Gone with the Wind for the first time. After reading the book and learning about Scarlett O’Hara, I was eager to see how she was portrayed in the film. O’Hara, in my opinion, is one of the most head strong female characters in film and was far ahead of her time.

Since the movie was released in 1939, many may not be too familiar with it. This is a great loss because even though it’s older, Scarlett O’Hara is someone that girls of all ages can look up to for her ambition and effort to keep her family’s plantation and make sure she survives.

For those who have never seen the movie or read the book, the story takes place during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. The characters experience going from high class status to poverty and starvation, and develop dramatically from privileged individuals to people who know the work it takes to keep what they have.

The story mentions how many other characters were not too keen on her and the way she carried herself, but she never lost sight of ensuring that what little she had left she never lost. She did this by marrying her other women’s beaus and working hard with her and her sisters in the field after the war had ended. The remarkable thing about her ability to do this is that she didn’t care about what society thought of her and her efforts. Even though slaves did this all the time, it is important to recognize that Scarlett O’Hara did not see working in the fields as something that she could never do, she saw it as a means of survival. She knew that she needed to put her nose to the ground and start working hard so she could keep her family home. Sure she only did it when she absolutely needed to, but she still did it. She could have been what society expected of her at that time and stepped back to let the men handle the situation, but she no longer wanted to rely on anyone else but herself.

I appreciate Scarlett O’Hara for her determination and ability to see that she can be in control of her own life. Although her methods may not have been accepted by society and were against the norm, she continued to make sure that she survived and that’s something I can get behind.

This is my favorite scene because I think it is when Scarlett realizes that she has a lot of people relying on her and in turn has to provide for herself.  

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