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Old 10-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #101
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Where are the people saying Scarlett shouldn't have humiliated him by throwing herself at another man?
The people saying that are you, Queen of Swords, and Carlene.

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He knew she was infatuated by another man when he married her. He thought he could make her forget Ashley, or that she would behave properly.
Exactly. Bullshit. And his trippin' because he couldn't change her is irrational. It's my belief you don't change a person by marrying them. That's just my belief.

Scarlett was wrong, sure she was wrong. Everybody's wrong sometimes. Rhett was wrong. It changes nothing.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:25 PM   #102
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And his trippin' because he couldn't change her is irrational. It's my belief you don't change a person by marrying them.
I agree. I would never recommend marrying someone in the hopes that they will change.

On the other hand, to him it was a calculated gamble. He wagered that if Scarlett married someone who was like her, someone who understood her and protected her and gave her everything she wanted, she would start to fall in love. I don't see that as being so irrational (he didn't need her to stop working or drinking, just to relinquish a crush she'd begun as a teenager). Rhett had gambled and taken risks before, so he tried it one last time, and lost.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:27 PM   #103
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And of course, there was his line about never being able to resist a lost cause.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:38 PM   #104
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On the other hand, to him it was a calculated gamble. He wagered that if Scarlett married someone who was like her, someone who understood her and protected her and gave her everything she wanted, she would start to fall in love. I don't see that as being so irrational. Rhett had gambled and taken risks before, so he tried it one last time, and lost.
I agree with everything except the underlined part. It is irrational to believe you can change someone by marrying them. He took a chance for love and lost. I can't hate him for that, but I can't hate Scarlett for not changing herself and becoming his doting dream girl.

But the point I was making is that his behavior was controlling and, so far as I understand it, it in fact is the type of behavior that abusers exhibit. One of my friend's mother had Battered Woman's Syndrome and the type of behaviors my friend described sound similar to what Rhett did--"punishing" her, publicly humiliating her, becoming extremely jealous.

Whether or not Scarlett deserved it is, in my mind, not the point. Adults don't punish each other for misbehaving. That's what parents to do children.

As for Rhett's cheating being different because Scarlett was withholding sex--*whistles*. Madam, we do not agree.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:40 PM   #105
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You're judging a 19th century man by 21st century standards.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:48 PM   #106
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You're judging a 19th century man by 21st century standards.
How's that?
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:54 PM   #107
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As for Rhett's cheating being different because Scarlett was withholding sex--*whistles*. Madam, we do not agree.
As I said, the book established that he saw physical and emotional infidelity in different ways. If it was acceptable for Scarlett to cheat on him in every way but the physical one and then withhold sex so she could pretend she was being faithful to Ashley instead, then it should have been equally acceptable for him to go to Belle Watling.

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the type of behaviors my friend described sound similar to what Rhett did--"punishing" her, publicly humiliating her, becoming extremely jealous.
Just as Scarlett also "punished" Rhett and publicly humiliated him. Plus, her calling him a drunken fool and telling him to take his hands off her didn't seem to indicate that she was cowed by his behavior.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:58 PM   #108
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How's that?
Really, the difference in Rhett's cheating being okay and Scarlett's...not.

I actually agree with you in that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

However...by the standards of the day, men's needs were seen as...well, needs. They had to get sex somewhere.

Plus, of course, Rhett's infidelity was sexual. Scarlett's? Emotional. Hypocritical of society, yes, absolutely, but at the time, emotional infidelity - and for a woman, shock horror - would have been judged as somehow 'worse'.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:59 PM   #109
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I adore him. From the way he encouraged her to thumb her nose at polite society to the way he accepted her fear of the dark. A childish, irrational fear, but he didn't mock his wife - he comforted her.

And as...oh, I forget the character's name...pointed out, no man who loved a child as much as Cap'n Butler loved Bonnie, could be all bad.
It was a long time ago I last read GWTW so I don't remember the details, but I do remember that I loved Rhett and loathed Scarlett; but wanted to see Rhett's love melt her into a loving him back. There is such a soft core to him, and it's that I adored. In her I only see naked ambition and selfishness; there's nothing behind it.

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Rhett gave Mammy a gift even when she treated him coldly and disapproved of him. He went out of his way to make Wade feel loved and wanted after Bonnie's birth - how many fathers of that time would be so sensitive to their stepkids' feelings? He always treated Melanie with respect.
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This.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:05 PM   #110
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Regarding Scarlett's hard core, something in the book struck me as monumentally sexist. (Well, much of it did, but to a point, Mitchell acknowledged its inherent sexism).

An older woman told Scarlett that a woman should always have something to be scared of. If she was scared of nothing, she'd become hard, scare men away.

It reminds me of a girlfriend telling me I shouldn't be so independent; men need to know you need them. A 21st century woman reflecting a book set in the 19th century. Plus ca change...
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:07 PM   #111
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[QUOTE=Queen of Swords;5443496]Imagine how you would feel if you heard that your husband or wife had been caught tenderly embracing someone else.

Now imagine you knew that your husband or wife was infatuated with that person, rather than returning your love for him or her. This isn't even getting into the fact that it was set in a historical time when hugging someone who wasn't married to you would be a big deal.

Rhett visited Bell while he was married to Scarlett, but that was partly because Scarlett refused to have sex with him and partly because he knew Bell genuinely cared about him and respected him.


Yes, now I get the embrace business, I did not get it when I read the book when I was 13.

Too bad she didn't have another form of birth control other than not doing it. Of course if she'd had 10 or 12 kids he might have left anyway.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:08 PM   #112
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In her I only see naked ambition and selfishness; there's nothing behind it.
She did love her parents, though - so much that it broke her heart to come home and find Ellen dead and Gerald a mental wreck. She loved Tara enough to sell herself if it kept the land.

And Ashley... well, she could have abandoned Melanie and fled when the Yankees invaded, but she didn't because she gave Ashley her word that she would look after his wife. She hated doing it and she hated Melanie, but she kept Ashley's wife and child safe for him even though it put her own life at risk.

Towards the end of the book, she finally realized how much Melanie meant to her - and then, just as she had once promised Ashley she would take care of his wife, she promised Melanie to take care of her husband. This being after she realized that she didn't really love Ashley and that he would always be a millstone around her neck.

Scarlett is selfish and ambitious, absolutely. But this is why I think there's far more to her than just those qualities.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #113
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Scarlett also killed to protect those whom (and that which) she loved. That'll do something to a woman.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:21 PM   #114
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Hellokiddo has explained to me why I hated Rhett when I read the book. At 13 I didn't have the 'read the book in terms of it's era' going.

I was told Melanie was right, Scarlett was wrong.

Now, with these explainations I see Scarlett's greatest flaw war marrying Rhett when he loved her and she didn't love him. Did she know he loved her? If she didn't that changes everything and makes it okay for her to have married him. But he changed the deal.

Yes, in that time and maybe now, if you marry someone you act like a proper wife. Here her conflict is that Rhett is all about 'we don't have to be proper, we are different' except when he didn't want her to be different.

Still not liking him. Even if his actions were acceptable for the time, not liking the punishing her for - basically - failing to fall in love with him.

The question, I suppose, comes down to this. Can people force themselves to fall in love because someone else wants them to or because it's convient? Is this a voluntary or involuntary emotion?
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:27 PM   #115
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Just as Scarlett also "punished" Rhett and publicly humiliated him. Plus, her calling him a drunken fool and telling him to take his hands off her didn't seem to indicate that she was cowed by his behavior.
I'm finding it disturbing that in response to comments that Rhett's behavior was controlling and inappropriate I keep hearing, "But she was bad too/but he did good stuff too" In abusive relationships, it goes back and forth. People egg each other on, bait them.

Examples we've all seen: Rhianna was aggravating and picking on Chris Brown, taunting him and threatening him before he attacked her. It doesn't change the fact that he attacked her. And I'm reminded of Mel Gibson's tapes and the comments that came after. People kept saying, "She was pressing his buttons, setting him up." Yes she did...he threatened to kill her and hit her while she was holding their baby. NO excusing that. Not even when his ex wife came forward and said he was a good guy to her...again...not the point how he was with someone else.

Also FTR I'm not arguing that Rhett actually harmed Scarlett, only that his behavior showed some of the qualities abusers have. It stopped, I guess, before it got serious and he actually harmed her, but the behaviors were there.

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However...by the standards of the day, men's needs were seen as...well, needs. They had to get sex somewhere.
Abusive behavior is acceptable in many cultures and throughout many periods in history. It's still abusive behavior, whether culturally acceptable at the time or not. Also, how is that different from today? Maybe in your part of the world. Not in mine.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:27 PM   #116
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Good point about "Be different except for when I want you to conform."

Did Scarlett know Rhett loved her? I think she thought he liked her. She was fun. They were alike. He was rich, could give her everything she wanted. Perhaps she assumed they both felt nothing more than affection for the other.

Remember her father saying "Like must marry like," for there to be any success in a marriage.

I'm going to read this book again, definitely.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:30 PM   #117
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Abusive behavior is acceptable in many cultures and throughout many periods in history. It's still abusive behavior, whether culturally acceptable at the time or not. Also, how is that different from today? Maybe in your part of the world. Not in mine.
My part of the world does not judge 19th century people by 21st century standards.

I am puzzled by the apparent willingness to judge Rhett more harshly than Scarlett for apparent 'abuse', when she was as bad as him.

Note I said as bad as. Not better or worse than.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:44 PM   #118
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Towards the end of the book, she finally realized how much Melanie meant to her - and then, just as she had once promised Ashley she would take care of his wife, she promised Melanie to take care of her husband. This being after she realized that she didn't really love Ashley and that he would always be a millstone around her neck.

Scarlett is selfish and ambitious, absolutely. But this is why I think there's far more to her than just those qualities.

OK, like I said t was a long time ago, I was young an inexperiensed, and maybe I did see only that one dimension of her. I do have an instinctive dislike of women who think they can get other women's men simply because they WANT them, and go about trying to get them. Because I was that girl who lost her boyfriends to girls like that; girls who were loud and obnoxious but somehow men fell for them!
I should have been happy with the fact that Ashley didn't fall for her; that was incredibly satisfying, actually. Like I said, I preferred Melanie...
OK. I said in my first post that I admired her fighting to save Tara and the folk who depended on her, and I still do.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:47 PM   #119
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In such instances, I always say, "You can't steal a man who doesn't want to be stolen." So, if such a woman can steal your man...let him go. He's not worth your time.

Ashley, though? Oh, he wanted her. Trouble is, he was scared of her too.

I really, really need to work on Mount TBR, but damn...Scarlett, she calls me...

Also, whenever someone says in this thread, "Scarlett's a bitch!" I think, "Hey now, what have I...oh, wait, for once they're not talking about me."
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:16 PM   #120
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I'm finding it disturbing that in response to comments that Rhett's behavior was controlling and inappropriate I keep hearing, "But she was bad too/but he did good stuff too" In abusive relationships, it goes back and forth. People egg each other on, bait them.
Maybe part of the reason you're hearing that is that people are trying to explain why they like Rhett as a character. We can't really explain that by saying, "He did certain inconsiderate things, therefore we like him", so we explain it by saying, "He did certain inconsiderate things, but these are his reasons and these are his far better qualities, and therefore we like him."

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Abusive behavior is acceptable in many cultures and throughout many periods in history. It's still abusive behavior, whether culturally acceptable at the time or not.
I don't see how it's reasonable to judge the people of a different culture and time period by our own standards. If we do so, shouldn't we also conclude that Scarlett's entire society was being controlling and abusive towards her by telling her that women shouldn't go into business to support their families?
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:23 PM   #121
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Marian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMarian Perera is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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OK. I said in my first post that I admired her fighting to save Tara and the folk who depended on her, and I still do.
Sorry, aruna, I didn't mean to overlook that - just responding to the comment that there was nothing more to her than selfishness and ambition.

The end of the book made it clear that Ashley was physically attracted to her. But being Ashley, he expressed that attraction in hearts-and-roses terms that made her believe he really did love her, when in reality the only woman for him was Melanie.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:48 PM   #122
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Maybe part of the reason you're hearing that is that people are trying to explain why they like Rhett as a character. We can't really explain that by saying, "He did certain inconsiderate things, therefore we like him", so we explain it by saying, "He did certain inconsiderate things, but these are his reasons and these are his far better qualities, and therefore we like him."
Point taken. IMO explaining a person's reasons for bad behavior is not acceptable to me. It reads to me like excusing someone's behavior, but we all see it our own way.

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I don't see how it's reasonable to judge the people of a different culture and time period by our own standards.
I'm not judging anybody. Not sure why that word keeps coming up. Making a statement is not judging.

I don't claim to be an expert on the cultural norms of nineteenth century Georgia, but is it incorrect to say that the behavioral patterns that lead to domestic abuse were similar if not the same for that period in history? If so, I'll accept that perhaps he was not exhibiting a behavioral pattern consistent with that of a potential abuser. I'll also accept that I am wrong about the behavioral patterns commonly seen in abusive men and the signs of a potential abuser. I'm not an expert in that either.

However, whether it is accurate or not, I can see how it is perceived that way. Note my original statement:

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I can see how his jealousy and anger could be interpreted as the behavioral pattern of an abusive man.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:12 PM   #123
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Point taken. IMO explaining a person's reasons for bad behavior is not acceptable to me.
I think motivation plays an important role in how we view actions. For instance, if I said my parents beat me, people might conclude my parents were cruel and abusive. On the other hand, if I said my parents beat me because they were raised in a culture which convinced them that children needed to be beaten to be corrected and brought up well, people might instead conclude my parents were misguided rather than deliberately malicious.

Is that excusing their behavior? I don't think so. We can still criticize bad behavior while simultaneously understanding the reasons behind it.

The same thing applies here, IMO. Sometimes there are reasons for bad behavior, and they can lend a lot of unexpected depth to characters.

Though as you said, everyone has their own views on this.

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I don't claim to be an expert on the cultural norms of nineteenth century Georgia, but is it incorrect to say that the behavioral patterns that lead to domestic abuse were similar if not the same for that period in history?
I'm not an expert in nineteenth century Georgia either so I can't say. What I can say is that Rhett is far more bark than bite when it comes to Scarlett. He occasionally threatens to hurt her ("I've always thought a good lashing with a buggy-whip would benefit you immensely") but he only physically hurts her once - when he's tying her corset strings just before Ashley's party and he pulls them too tight - and I don't see that as an example of domestic abuse, or a behavior pattern which might lead to domestic abuse.

Of course, there's far more to domestic abuse than just the physical aspect of it, but in the one sex scene which could have been abusive, it's clear that Scarlett was a willing participant after her initial fear. Their arguments don't seem to be on the level of abusive or prelude-to-abusive either.

If he really was an abuser, he picked a victim who wasn't afraid of him when he was in a drunken rage and who had previously murdered a man who threatened her. So even if his jealousy and anger remind people of the behaviors exhibited by abusive men, I think there's a lot more to the situation - and to his and Scarlett's personalities - than that.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:19 AM   #124
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God damn you guys! Now I'm gonna have to reread it. I've been putting off rereading it...

*Grumbles*

If anybody needs me I'll be back in...about 9 months, when I've finally finished this monster
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:20 AM   #125
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