Friday, September 10, 2010

Spirit of the South: Melanie Hamilton-Wilkes

If the spirit of the South's fortitude, gumption and courage in women was seen in Scarlett O' Hara, its honorable poise and grace was seen in Melanie Hamilton. In her are found the traits of a woman who refuses to accept the worst in others, only focusing on what is best in them. This rightfully makes her the greatest friend to a woman like Scarlett O'Hara who was selfish, self-centered and childish. Melanie was the South's other half, a graceful part unwilling to believe that war can destroy a world brought up in goodness and God-liness. Did they make a pair, Melanie and Scarlett? There were moments in GWTW where they did, when Melanie would choose the better half of survival than martyrdom at the hands of a soldier in Tara. She knew what she had to protect. In the end this kind of goodness is considered "divine" and I guess often in GWTW, Melanie was portrayed as the living saint amidst the shattered world of Atlanta. 
Was she of no backbone? Let's just put it this way, a woman who can put up with Scarlett O'Hara's character is a person "with" backbone. Didn't Rhett say: "God help the man who loves you?" In this case, Scarlett didn't have the man who could have loved her for all that she was and could be, but had the greatest friend she could ever have who did. 

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