More Like Melanie

I watched Gone with the Wind again a couple of weeks ago. I seem to end up watching it for some reason or another every few years. Can’t remember what the reason was this time, except that I was alone in the house and too tired to really do anything else and I just wanted to. I like to anticipate and revel in my favorite parts, like when Scarlett is supposed to be in mourning at the gala fundraiser but she’s dancing behind the booth, or when Rhett sweeps her into his arms just before he abandons her to go off to war, or when she throws the clod of dirt at the presumptuous overseer Jonas Wilkerson, or when Mammy grabs the back of her dress when she’s trying to run to Ashley who is staggering home from the war, and says, “He’s HER husband, ain’t he?”

Anyway, this time through I was just awestruck by Melanie. From our first encounter with her, when she’s defending Scarlett against the wrath of all the other girls: “She’s just high-spirited and vivacious,” she persists in attributing all the best motives and traits to someone who frankly fails to deserve them. She is unfailingly kind, even to the notorious Belle Watling, but she’s no pushover.

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