Scarlett O'Hara and Ashley Wilkes
Gone With The Wind quote - You have all the passion for life that I lack.
Summary. In Scarlett O'Hara's case, it is a truth undeniable that the clothes make the woman. Gone with the Wind retold in the stories of a dozen gowns. Beta thanks to rabidsamfan and thirstyrobot! Language: English; Words: 1,; Chapters: 1/1; Collections: 1; Comments: 30; Kudos: 36; Bookmarks: 7; Hits: . Ashley falls in love with Scarlett O'Hara. He feels he will not be happy with Scarlett, so marries his cousin Melanie Hamilton shortly before the Civil War. Ashley fights in the war. He gets leave and goes to Atlanta where Melanie and Scarlett (now the widow of Melanie's brother) are living together. Melanie becomes pregnant. 24 Jan They do not know what Scarlett knows, that the land means money. Earlier Scarlett returned to Tara to find her father crazed and her mother dead. Her Ashley, married to Melanie, is at war. Her beautiful clothing is gone, as are the gracious Southern parties. Good talk is gone. Even the skies are not golden.
Which all begs the question: Why do Melanie and Scarlett both love Ashley so deeply? Why such devotion to him given all of this? I think both women, particularly Scarlett, have attributed qualities to Ashley that aren't really there. They think of him as honorable and noble, qualities which perhaps give them a higher sense of purpose just by being around him, but it's all an illusion.
I recall the line where Ashley says that he and Melanie are alike and that they see the world the same way. So that explains why Melanie is deluded by him, but it sure doesn't explain his snow job on someone as shrewd as Scarlett.
But in the scene at Tara after the war, he kissed her passionately and admitted that he loved her, but said that he couldn't be with her because of honor, which meant that if it wasn't for honor's sake, he would run away with her? I do think that he loved Melanie because she was so similar to him in so many ways but had a quiet strength he found acceptable in a woman. Ashley was the only one of the three that truly understood who was right for him, even though he was weak in the wake of Scarlett's "charms" throwing herself at him repeatedly. I never liked Ashley- too shifteless and, Rhett?
I never bought into the Ashley character even then. As a boy it was easy to become enthralled with the aggressive, straight-shooting Rhett Butler. As a boy, it was next to impossible to be impressed with the sallow, downcast Ashley Wilkes. Looking at the film more recently, I wonder if the only reason Ashley is even believable see more if we cast him in the light of the only one who fully appreciates what is happening in those scenes--he foresees the end of a way of life, the destruction of a nation and a people, and the rise of coarse, monied tyranny.
If we believe that he possesses those insights from the start of the film to its end, then we can believe that these women, who would have known him in his dynamic, positive, and bright youth, fell in love with him forever.
I agree - I grew up watching Gone with the Wind and we loved being allowed to use that one curse word when quoting Rhett - but as a young girl I never understood the appeal to Ashley Wilkes and always thought that Melanie deserved better.
Howard's inability to find any depth to the Ashley character is cowardly? Isn't that a bit excessive? I would put it down to indifference and contempt and nothing else. Wow, this post is way too harsh on Ashley! He was always my favorite character. Now before everyone condemns me, yes he is flawed.
All of the characters in GWTW are flawed.
Gone With the Wind
I'm not going to launch into a long monologue about Ashley because I realized that I'm at odds here with the majority on this post, but I think we can all agree that everyone click actions and morals and beliefs differently and that everyone values certain characteristics and condemns others differently as well.
Obviously the people of this post value some different characteristics than I do, but I see Ashley as a character who is flawed because of his personality and the way he was brought up. He is an intelligent man who understands himself, perhaps better than the rest of the characters, and realizes that he is a figure of the past in the wrong generation.
I think Ashley pictured himself as some tortured soul who never had anything work out for him the way he expected. Unlike other people I know, I believe we can love 2 people at the same time - just with different levels of intensity and for different reasons, as voiced by others on this thread. Ashley already knows he and Scarlett are not a match and he tells her so in the beginning of the movie.
He obviously has a self-destructive tendency, perhaps even a type of masochism because he realizes this, and in the end is willing to sacrifice himself for his wife and for Scarlett. He knows all too well what he is doing. He does lack a spine and lack decisiveness but he is forced into that position by his upbringing, his personality which he feels he cannot change, the social restrictions in his society, and his love for his wife and for Scarlett.
It's true he should have been proactive but ultimately it's something that he personally was unable to do because of his own depression. Anyway, that's my viewpoint. I thought Leslie Howard, though he didn't want to do it, was good casting for the character because he was an actor that always portrayed that sort of dreamer-out-of-his-time character who could be quietly strong, yet here odds with his environment.
Saturday, December 1, Passion and Indifference: Copyright and Posted by Hill Place at 6: Anonymous December 3, at 7: Hill Place December 3, at 7: Anonymous December 3, at Anonymous December 7, at The Rush Blog October 15, at 3: Ravenwood March 9, at Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
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