Study Guide

Gone With the Wind Chapter 42

By Margaret Mitchell

Chapter 42

  • Scarlett has her baby.
  • At the same time there is much uproar in Atlanta because the KKK lynched a man accused of rape.
  • The book thinks this is totally justified, though Scarlett wishes the KKK wouldn't stir up trouble.
  • Frank won't let Scarlett go to the mills because he figures she'll be attacked.
  • Guess what? Scarlett is furious.
  • So Melanie arranges for Archie, a dangerous man who she's taken under her wing, to go with Scarlett and protect her.
  • Archie hates black people and Yankees, which is presented as fine, and he also hates women, which is presented as slightly more problematic, but not all that much so.
  • Scarlett tells Archie at one point that she's thinking about getting convict laborers and he tells her he'll leave if she does.
  • He was a convict for forty years, imprisoned for killing his wife for sleeping with another man, and he was released to go fight against the Yankees.
  • Archie says he's already told Melanie, and Scarlett is scandalized.
  • They have a chat with a bunch of men talking about how the Georgia legislature has refused to ratify the Constitutional amendments allowing black people (er, more like black men) to vote.
  • The Amendments are presented as a great evil, the last straw, and they all talk about how awful the Yankees are.
  • Scarlett thinks they should just give in since the Yankees will make their lives miserable; Archie, however, wants to fight.
  • Scarlett decides to hire convicts after all, though everybody protests. There's an awful bit about how slaves were super-happy under slavery and are worse off under freedom, and how hiring convicts is therefore nothing like slavery at all. Barf.
  • Ashley is not happy with convict labor, and is generally unhappy. Also useless. It is the Ashley way.