Study Guide

Gone With the Wind Chapter 2

By Margaret Mitchell

Chapter 2

  • Back to Scarlett being upset about Ashley marrying his cousin Melanie.
  • She's certain Ashley really loves her, not that little simp Melanie.
  • Mammy is introduced as being fierce and loyal. Scarlett dissembles so Mammy doesn't know she's upset.
  • Scarlett goes off to meet her father, who is coming from the Wilkes plantation, in hopes he'll tell her Ashley Wilkes isn't actually getting married.
  • She remembers falling in love with Ashley, and how they hung out together, but never really exactly courted.
  • Ashley is supposed to be complex and Scarlett is simple. To be clear, by complex we means Ashley comes across as a vacillating dolt, and by simple we means Scarlett comes off like a selfish child.
  • Enter Gerald O'Hara, a big, florid, friendly baby of a man. We think you're supposed to find him cute.
  • Gerald likes jumping fences, though Ellen, his wife, worries he'll get hurt.
  • Gerald tells Scarlett that Ashley is getting married; she's cranky about it, and he's upset that she's cranky.
  • He says he's glad she's not marrying Ashley because he's weird and likes art and music and stuff that doesn't matter to real men doing manly things like jumping over fences.
  • The two of them go back to the house promising not to tell Ellen that Scarlett is upset, because revealing your emotions is wrong and everyone should just bottle everything up and push it down so that it can spew out at odd moments causing misery and woe to all.
  • Ellen's off to help the poor white good-for-nothing Emmie Slattery care for her out-of-wedlock baby. The book hates poor white people almost as much as it hates black people.