Gone With the Wind? Never: Scarlett O’Hara and Southern Womanhood
We will discuss the historical stereotypes of Southern women that went into the creation of the character Scarlett O’Hara, especially as portrayed in the 1939 film of Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With the Wind. Then we will look at the stereotypes that resulted from this creation, the way in which Scarlett was both a composite of older ideals of womanhood and a very new type of woman who reflected the changing world of the South in the 1920s and 30s. Does Scarlett O’Hara still figure into the ways in which Southern women are viewed today? We will also address the “Mammy” image and the “Prissy” figure from the film to address stereotypes of black women and how they have been perpetuated or have changed since the film.