Gone With the Wind loves to watch its characters' plans and hopes fail and turn to dust and ashes and general unhappiness. Or, alternately, it loves to have its characters hopes come true and turn to dust and ashes and unhappiness. Scarlett is miserable when her dreams don't work out (as when she can't have Ashley) and miserable when they do work out (as when she can have Ashley). Basically, your best bet if you're a character in Gone With the Wind is just not to dream or hope at all. If you do, they will get you somehow.
Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
Are Melanie's hopes fulfilled? Do they make her unhappy? Why or why not?
Does Scarlett ever fail to get what she wants? What does that say for her chances of getting Rhett eventually?
Do any black characters in the novel have dreams or hopes? Why or why not? What impact does this have on the characterization of black people in the book in general?
Chew on This
Scarlett is successful because she is practical and not a dreamer.