Gone with the Wind Movie Discussion Questions

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

'Gone with the Wind' has become a classic tale of love and loss during times of war. Here, you will find discussion questions to use after viewing the movie version of this epic story.

Gone with the Wind

In 1936, Margaret Mitchell published her only novel, which depicts the struggles of the Southern way of life before and after the Civil War. Three short years later, Vivian Vance perfectly portrayed callous and willful Southern belle Scarlet O'Hara in the film version.

Obviously, differences will exist between a novel and its movie adaptation. However, the movie Gone with the Wind stayed true to the novel, expertly depicting the devastation wrought throughout the bloody Civil War. Here are some discussion questions based on the movie.

Questions About Characters

  • Is Scarlet a lady? How does she behave prior to the outbreak of war? Do her actions show her to be a lady or not? Discuss her relationships with Ashley and Charles. Why does Rhett tell her she is no lady? Is he right?
  • Analyze Rhett's character. He seems to want to be judged as a scoundrel by others. Why is that? Think about when he left Scarlet with the wagon when she seemed to need him the most. Does that make him a scoundrel? Does he do anything that is purely altruistic? Does he change throughout the movie? How?
  • How would you describe Ashley's character? What are his weaknesses? Strengths? Why is Scarlet drawn to him? What favor does he ask of her when he goes to war? Is that a fair favor to ask of her? Is Ashley a good man or not? Explain.
  • Is Scarlet simply a selfish brat? What actions does she do that make her seem selfish? What actions make her seem selfless? Is she just an honest person in a world where everyone pretends to be something else? Explain.
  • Describe Melanie's character. Scarlet often views her as weak, but is she? What shows her to be much stronger than Scarlet ever gave her credit for? Do you think she knows how Scarlet feels towards Ashley throughout all those years? Why does she stick by Scarlet?
  • Do you admire Scarlet? Is her refusal to quit a good or bad trait? Use examples from the novel to show when it was positive and when it was negative. The novel ends with Rhett rejecting her. Do you feel bad for her? Do you think she will eventually win him back?
  • Mammy plays a vital role in Scarlet's life. What is that role? Is she more important to Scarlet than Ellen? How does Mammy show she is wise throughout the movie? What is Rhett's view of Mammy?
  • What is Frank Kennedy's role in the movie? Is he just another weak man who Scarlet takes advantage of? Does she care about him at all? Is he important? Explain.
  • Belle Watling is the representation of what every woman should not be in the genteel Southern society. But is she really that? What kind of character traits does she possess? Is she any better than Scarlet? What is Belle's view of Scarlet? Why is that ironic?

Questions About Symbolism

  • Scarlet is plagued by a frightening dream where she is lost in the mist. What is the mist a symbol of? How does she finally realize the meaning of her dream? Does this realization change her? Explain.
  • Tara is an important symbol in the movie. What does it represent to Gerald? What does it represent to Scarlet? Does Scarlet agree with her father that land is the only thing that lasts? Do you agree with him? Explain.
  • Ellen is very special to Scarlet. What does she represent to her eldest daughter? With that in mind, what does Ellen's death symbolize? What else within Scarlet dies with her?
  • The mill Scarlet owns is very important to her. How did she get it? How does she run it? Why does she stay involved with it even after there is no need? What does it symbolize?

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