War had shown its cruelty, leaving large wounds that imprint on everyone, include
Scarlett. Yes, all this time we were just looking at how spoiled and naive she was, maybe we heven’t seen how she really was. In part 3, we–or I, began to see what was really inside of her.
Southerners’ army esperately approached to Atlanta, more wounded soldiers were taken to Atlanta so that the hospitals could not accommodate them, while basic needs were getting rare. At that situation, many civilians evacuated from Atlanta. Aunt Pitty would flee to Macon, but Dr. Meade prohibit Melanie to go with her, during her pregnancy. Scarlett that was very worried about her mother and her sisters who had been ill, was forced cancelling her return to Tara.
When it was time for Melanie to give birth, the the situation was getting worse, no doctor was available for helping delivery, no woman could be found to assist. The first time in her life, Scarlett had to handle all the chaos in her own home. Thereafter, the Yankees approached Atlanta, they should be evacuated. Scarlett asked Rhett to bring them to Tara. Rhett found a horse and carriage, but left them at the outside of Atlanta, Scarlett with weak Melanie after giving birth, Melanie’s newborn baby, Wade–her own son, and Prissy–the terrified and unreliable slave.
Arriving at Tara, the situation wasn’t getting any better. Her mother had been die, her sisters were still weak due to their illness, her father lost his mind, the slaves has fled, food and livestock had been looted. The only remaining slaves were Mammy, Pork and Dilcey. They were loyal, but they could not control everything. Things that were once arranged by her mother, must now be taken over by Scarlett.
For me, it was natural if Scarlett kept complaining, grumbling, whining and even being cruel to others. She had been a selfish and spoiled girl, and if suddenly she could be a responsible woman to take care of Tara and her family, I give her all my thumbs.
Scarlett reigned supreme at Tara now and, like others suddenly elevated to authority, all the bullying instincts in her nature rose to the surface. It was not that she was basically unkind. It was because she was so frightened and unsure of herself she was harsh lest others learn her inadequacies and refuse her authority. Besides, there was some pleasure in shouting at people and knowing they were afraid. Scarlett found that it relieved her overwrought nerves. (p.474-475 of Indonesian edition)
Ignoring what will happen at Part 4, this Part 3 was really changing my point of view of this whole book. I–and maybe all readers–was blaming Scarlett for being her (no need to explain it again). But as we all know, children ARE MADE by their parents. They will be what their parents made them to be. Let’s see how Ellen and Gerald treated their daughters. Ellen was focused on make them attractive women, to spread charms to gentlemen, to get a husband, etc. Did she teach them how to manage household? Tell me if I missed it. In the other hand, Gerald was so weak. Ellen managed Tara, without her Tara would be chaotic, I believe. The girls, at that time, were grown without proper educations. Scarlett gave up analyzing simple things because girl were not made to think! That way, no wonder Ellen wouldn’t have any successors. I do love Ellen’s character, she was strong and clever, but sorry for her, she had failed raising and educating her daughters.
Back to the war itself. The author gave us fine illustrations about what is left after war. It was only hunger and suffering, especially for the lost side. And at the end of this part was a dramatic scene of Ashley’s homecoming.
Let’s move to Part 4 sooner.