what war does to people
Posted by katy on July 08, 1998 at 21:29:58:
In response to What about Ashley??, written by Tay on July 08, 1998 at 20:08:55
I liked Ashley - I even identify with him - I can imagine being unable to copy with all that change.
I thought the novel was about what war does to different people - how it changes Scarlett from bright and determined and in the middle of everything to shrewish and isolated; Rhett from daring and heedless to introspective and conservative. Melanie does not change - she stays idealistic and proud to the end - but she has to expand her morality to include Rhett's war profiteering and Scarlett's killing the soldier. Ashley knew himself from the beginning - knew everything was going to change and that he would be unable to change with it.
One of the older ladies tells Scarlett (Mrs. Tarlton, maybe or another neighbor), comparing the Wilkes to race horses that they can 'run on a hard track, but they would stumble and falter on a mud track'. She was anticipating the struggle after the war and knew Scarlett was better prepared to survive in the post-war years than Ashley.
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