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The Wilkes Plantation

    John Wilkes 
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He dies in 1964, likely out of grief for his destroyed house or killed by the Union army.
  • In the Blood: A gentleman philosopher, much like his son. Their bookishness is not really understood by their community, but no one would dare to slight such courteous people.
  • Southern Gentleman: Along with his son, but in his case it's played straight. He was always courteous and pleasant, even with people he didn't really get along with.
  • Widow Man: Mrs. Wilkes has passed away, and his oldest daughter India runs the household.
    India Wilkes 
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Margaret Mitchell describes India as no word other than plain and a costume sketch by Walter Plunkett remains true to this. Alicia Rhett, who plays her in the movie, is quite beautiful.
  • Ice Queen: Becomes a vengeful one after Scarlett steals Charles Hamilton away from her and loses her second option Stuart Tarleton during the war.
  • Loving a Shadow: She was engaged to one of the Tarleton twins, but he's killed in the war and she never marries another man.
  • Old Maid: She ends up a spinster, and quite a spiteful one. Although she is more respected because her fiancé died in war and she is virtually his widow, Mama Fontaine points out how silly of her is wasting what remains of her youth for the memory of a man that wasn't even her husband, while she could have easily married a widower or someone older.
    Honey Wilkes 
  • Adapted Out: She is nowhere to be seen in the movie nor the sequel ‘’Scarlett’’ and it’s adaptation. However a costume design by Walter Plunkett and Sidney Howard’s original screenplay reveal that she was intended to appear in the film.
  • Cassandra Truth: She is the only one to notice before the war that Scarlet has eyes only for Ashley, but for a while no one believed her.
  • The Fitz: Even more than Scarlet. While Scarlet is at least business savvy, poor Honey is dumb as a brick.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Honey is apparently not her real name.
    Ashley Wilkes
"Yes, there is something. Something you love better than me although you may not know it. Tara."
Played by: Leslie Howard

The man with whom Scarlett is obsessed. Gentlemanly yet indecisive, he loves Scarlett too, but finds he has more in common with Melanie, and eventually marries her, much to Scarlett's dismay.

  • The Ace: After the war, he's much less effective when scaled down in socioeconomic status.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The movie cuts out much of Ashley's wartime letters describing his experience in the battlefield and other events highlighting his strengths of character, instead focusing on the incredibly few moments of romance he had with Scarlet in the novel. Combined with Leslie Howard's aging appearance and subpar acting, this led to many people who watch the film to bash Ashley as a wimp, often stating they cannot understand why Scarlet would prefer him over the vibrant Rhett. While he had fatal flaws, the original novel makes it clear Ashley has some clear moral character and was a valiant man in the battlefield.
  • Betty and Veronica: With Rhett.
  • Birds of a Feather: Ashley and Melanie.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Scarlett would have given up on Ashley if he had just told her he truly loves Melanie.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Unlucky Scarlett in regards to Ashley, although Victorious Melanie likely knew him just as long.
  • Cultured Warrior: Ashley is the leader of his troop due to his excellent marksmanship and leadership skills, but most of his men find his habit of reading literature and discussing philosophy very strange.
  • Kissing Cousins: Members of the Wilkes family marry their cousins whenever possible, one of the main reasons Scarlett initially loses out to Melanie.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Ashley is the Noble Male, while Rhett is the Roguish Male.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Leslie Howard keeps his British accent. Averted with Stephen Collins who plays him in the ‘’Scarlett’’ miniseries.
  • Officer and a Gentleman
  • Princely Young Man
  • Southern Gentleman: Ashley is the most prominent example, but seems a deconstruction of the trope.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Scarlett blackmailed Ashley into becoming her business partner by crying about it to Melanie.
    Melanie Hamilton
"Be kind to Captain Butler. He loves you so."

Scarlett's naive sister-in-law and, eventually, best friend.

  • Babies Make Everything Better: Melanie is very fond of this idea.
  • Betty and Veronica: With Scarlet.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Melanie's reaction to Scarlett killing a Union deserter was "I'm glad you killed him!" And she pulled out a pistol when she thought Yankee soldiers were about to break into her home.
  • The Confidant: More by chance than willingly, but she becomes this to Scarlet. She is aware of most of Scarlet's shadier shenanigans, because she was there or rather because she is the only one who understands her.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Melanie has a miscarriage which eventually leads to her death.
  • Determinator: More subtly than Scarlet, but the lady is a match for her fiery sister-in-law in willfulness.
  • Family of Choice: She is Scarlett's sister-in-law (and just the first one) but she becomes closer to her than her blood sisters.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Melanie having to strip naked so her nightgown can be used to mop up the blood of the dead soldier. While her nudity is covered by angles and objects, back in the 1930s (when this film was released) this was already pushing the edge in acceptable "sex-related" onscreen scenes.
  • Ill Girl: A family trait. She is rather feeble and her first childbirth almost killed her.
  • The Ingenue: Melanie is a perpetual ingenue.
  • Kissing Cousins: Members of the Wilkes family marry their cousins whenever possible, one of the main reasons Scarlett initially loses out to Melanie.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Melanie is the Light Feminine, while Scarlett is the Dark Feminine.
  • Noble Bigot: As kind-hearted as she is, she holds some incredibly racist views of blacks and women. However her racist and sexist beliefs are not violent and contemptable in nature and represents the "paternal" type in which she believes blacks are by nature too inferior to last on their own and its duty for whites to look after them.
  • The Pollyanna: She has a much more naive outlook on life than Scarlett, and she's a much happier person overall.
  • Proper Lady: As befits a foil for Scarlett.
  • Screaming Birth: Melanie gives birth like this, but it's because her body shape is unfit for it. Averted with Scarlett, who gives birth easily, with almost no pain.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Briefly implied with Melanie, the most kind-hearted and frail of the family. Midway through the film a Union soldier breaks into the house to rape and steal. He encounters Scarlett, who shoots him with her pistol... and behind her is Melanie, still recovering from having given birth and brandishing a sword.
  • Southern Belle: A much, much nicer example than Scarlett.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Stays sweet when she lose her fortunes.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She eventually succumbs due to a spontaneous abortion.
  • Tranquil Fury: She seems quite and meek but do not cross her. She readily banished lifelong friends because they mistreated Scarlet. Those ladies came begging to her in tears.
    Charles Hamilton 
    Frank Kennedy 

The visitor from Charleston

    Rhett Butler
"Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is."
Played by: Clark Gable

A wealthy bachelor who's older than Scarlett. He made his fortune through professional gambling, his brothel and war supplies.

  • Adaptational Badass: The book mostly describe his badass moments off-screen, the movie gives Rhett some onscreen (particularly in the Siege of Atlanta. While the book's description of escaping the city is no laughing matter (as artillery is being bombarded and union soldiers are approaching with the city's populace fleeing in hysteria), in the film blindfolding a panicking horse and leading it through a an alley of burning buildings and he fends off four bandits intent on robbing their wagon during the escape, knocking them out with single blows. All while a STORAGE of ammunition are set on fire (which destroyed pretty much the entire studio set block where the scene was filmed, so kudos for the stuntman who did this)!
  • Adaptational Curves: Inverted by Clark Gable who, while having the basic description of Rhett in the books, had average built for this film. In the books, Rhett is described as an all-round strong large man with muscular arms and a well-built body.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Played straight forward as opposed to Scarlett. Much of his vile acts such as the duel before the story where he killed a Southern girl's brother, his murder of a yankee and freedman after the war, and his various acts of swindling are all removed from the film. In addition the film focused primarily on his charmy dashing side and romantic moments for Scarlett. So much that the movie led to the notion of Rhett being the "ideal Southern gentleman" and as the "ideal romantic lead".
  • Analogy Backfire: At one point, Dr. Meade argues that General Johnston cannot be dislodged from the Kennesaw Mountain
  • Betty and Veronica: With Ashley, though it is also a deconstruction when he does get married to Scarlett and she still pines for Ashley.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rhett does this a couple of times, but never completely successful.
  • Birds of a Feather: Scarlett and Rhett.
  • Black Sheep: Rhett's prominent, wealthy (before the war) family managed to blacklist him not only from their own estate, but the entire city of Charleston. Subverted in that for all his denouncement of Southern morals and norms, Rhett actually helped his family in secret during tough times in the war and Rhett is probably the most egalitarian character in the whole novel, viewing blacks as being far more capable and intelligent than most people in the time did. He is also ahead of his time in regards to women equality.
  • Byronic Hero: He's a Tall, Dark, and Handsome man with a Dark and Troubled Past as a social outcast because of his unconventional opinions and actions, which often sound fine for modern audience but awful for contemporary people. He's also morally ambiguous in his and quite opportunistic, but at least he admits this instead of being an hypocrite like most of the people around him and lives to his own interpretation of honor. He's also honorable and selfless to the people he cares the most, and there are glimpse of his struggling conscience and occasional self-deprecation. Not to mention his self-destructive romance with equally impetuous Scarlett.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rhett does confess his feelings to Scarlett a few times, but he invariably subverts his confessions by chickening out and convincing her he's making fun of her. He justifies this by saying that if she knew about his feelings, she'd make his life a living hell; but it becomes more and more obvious as the story progresses that she's already done that.
    • Not to mention that Rhett outright lies, once or twice, when Scarlett asks him point-blank if he's in love with her. Once, when Scarlett reveals that she's been considering an abortion, Rhett reacts in outrage and horror, and then when the amazed Scarlett tells him she didn't know he cared that much about her, he switches gears and casually replies that he just doesn't want to lose a good investment.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Rhett, during the prelude to Sherman's March on Atlanta.
  • Character Development: He realizes in turn that Wanting Is Better Than Having in terms of his relationship with Scarlett, and knows that his own role in Poor Communication Kills ruins their relationship.
  • The Charmer: When Rhett wants people to like him, he's all but irresistible; but usually he can't be bothered.
  • The Dandy: Pittypat claims that Rhett is one in the book.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rhett in regards to nearly everything, from the impossibility of the Confederacy winning the war to the ridiculous expectations put on women in the 1860s. Routinely, no one understands his comments/everyone is offended by them.
  • Defiled Forever: Part of the reason why Rhett is not received by any fine family in Charleston is that he refused to marry a girl he had been out with for too long without a chaperone
  • Destructive Romance: Rhett and Scarlett. In Scarlett this trope is deconstructed and played with continuously. The conclusion is basically that the most destructive force on earth to these two very strong and determined people is their love for each other. And then it becomes quite literally a fact of 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' by the end.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Right after a misunderstanding has led the entire town to believe that Ashley and Scarlett are having an affair, gets really, really drunk.
    • He drinks when he believes Scarlett is about to die from a miscarriage that he is responsible for.
    • In the book he gets drunk after Bonnie's death.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Rhett, Despite all his other moral failings, is very fond of his mother.
  • Friend to All Children: When Scarlett laments her second pregnancy (with Ella) and declares that she hates babies, Rhett admits that he likes them and we see this throughout the book—his fondness for Wade and Ella, his utter devotion to Bonnie. It makes the moment where he declares his ward "a perfect little hellion who I wish had never been born" a very Out of Character moment.
  • Handsome Lech: Very much downplayed in the movie.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted; Rhett is privately an atheist, but not particularly vocal or strident. He does tease Scarlett when she is melodramatically convinced she's going to hell but his criticism is more centered around her obvious hypocrisy.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • He's often downright verbally abusive to Scarlett. For someone who loves her, he doesn't seem to like her very much, as well as simultaneously resenting her for not returning his feelings.
    • Threatens her with physical violence on several occasions and ultimately carries it out the night he forces himself on her—this is after threatening to tear her "limb from limb" or "crush her skull".
    • Pulls a disappearing act afterwards and when he finally shows up, throws it in her face that he slept with another woman, completely oblivious to the fact that Scarlett wants to work things out with him.
    • He rebuffs Scarlett every time she genuinely tries to reach out to him. The most striking example is when she tells him she's pregnant again. Until then, she's been happy about it and hoping that they have a chance to reconcile. His reaction? To ask who the father is — knowing full well the child is the result of him raping her — and to tell her, "Cheer up, maybe you'll have a miscarriage."
      • This is somewhat a case of Kick the Son of a Bitch. In addition to being emotionally cruel to Rhett and attempting to manipulate him (if not returning the love to the man who genuinely cares about her back is not hard enough), as Rhett rightfully attacks her as "an irresponsible mother" she is so obsessed with chasing Ashley she fails to realize how screwed up her children are becoming from neglect. Not even counting her hidden contempt of Melanie, her somewhat ungrateful demeanor to Mammy, and her refusal to talk to Rhett when he is actually willing to listen, some of his abusive demeanor to her is somewhat understanding.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Rhett is one of these in regards to Scarlett.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Scarlett and Rhett both revel in this. Naturally, it makes their relationship somewhat difficult.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Clark Gable reportedly refused to give Rhett a southern accent. Timothy Dalton, who plays Rhett in the Scarlett miniseries averts this troupe.
  • Only Sane Man: Particularly with his opinions that the South cannot win the war. Not that anybody listens. Also counts after the war in regards to Southerner's reaction to Northern policies in the reconstruction with the KKK and plans to resume the war which Rhett describes as "damned foolishness".
  • Professional Gambler: Rhett was one of these early in his life after being cast out by his father.
  • Really Gets Around: Rhett owns a brothel.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Perhaps one of the most iconic in film, Rhett leaves Scarlett for good at the end of the story, uttering the line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
  • The Social Expert: During the war, everyone despises him for being a smuggler. After the war is over and Bonnie is born, Rhett wants her to be eventually accepted in the high society, so he ingratiates himself with them with little effort.

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