Part 3 brought me to the worst of the war. Now the South suffered terrible lost from the Yankees. And when Scarlett has begun to enjoy her life once again, when she once again regained the life she have had enjoyed, Atlanta was suddenly in the big risk of being under siege by the Yankees. Most of the neighbours—so did Aunt Pitty—fled away to other cities, but what could Scarlett do with Melanie, whose laboring time was nearly approaching? Her first instinct was to leave everything and sought protection in her home, Tara. However, Ashley’s pleading at Christmas holiday kept haunting her, for she could not bear the thought that Ashley would be disappointed because Scarlett did not keep her promise. How selfish was this woman!
So, Scarlett stayed, alone with Prissy and the pregnant Melanie. And just when the situation was growing more frantically, when the doctor was busy with hundreds of wounded soldiers, and everybody took care of their own businesses, Melanie started to feel the laboring pain. There was only Scarlett and Prissy—the little slave—at home, and they just have to do everything they could to help delivering the baby. That was Scarlett’s turning point, I think, because from then on life would never become easy for her; and that event showed her real qualities: strong and brave.
Now Scarlett, in an urgent desire to flee to Tara, forced Rhett to find a carriage to bring her, Wade, Melanie and the baby, and Prissy. Rhett did it, brought the group out of the danger of Yankee’s capture, but abandoned them half way because he wanted to take part in the war. Scarlett hated Rhett for that, and with all her might she finally succeeded in bringing her group to Tara. Only to find everything was different from what she has looked forward to. Ellen was dead, and Gerald was ‘no longer himself’ after the shocks. And now…Scarlett did not have anyone else in this world to come to when she was in trouble. Now Tara belonged to her, and suddenly the burden had fallen on her shoulders.
Tara suffered terribly during those days, and every time, when Scarlett thought the worst was over, came another trial for Tara. Here both Scarlett’s and Melanie’s characters developed. The selfish Scarlett became harder; and her spoilt and childish manner was replaced with a firm business manner that she must hold to get respect from the blacks. On the other hand, Melanie showed her courage and strong determination despite her weaker physical health. I was a bit entertained to see the two women at Tara could now work hand in hand to protect and to provide life for all of them. Although, here and there Scarlett’s wicked thoughts often emerged towards Melanie, who she considered as just another mouth to feed. Oh Scarlett….what kind of heart did you possessed? I can tolerate selfishness, childishness, or other one’s bad habits, but not a cruelty. I can’t imagine how a well bred young woman (with Ellen always taught her to pray Rosary) could have such an iron heart? And I don’t understand either why Margaret Mitchell should create such an annoying character to be her main heroine! >,<
Anyway, Part 3 was topped with the arrival of two men from the war. The first one was Will Benteen, a wounded soldier who was rehabilitated at Tara (under the mercy of Melanie, but with a grudge from Scarlett—at least at first). However after having been recovered, Will was proved to be very valuable for Scarlett, for now she had someone (and a male too) to share the hardship of managing both the plantation and the house hold of Tara. The second one was…Ashley, who has been released from prison after the war—finally—came to an end. And this was where Part 3 was ended, left us with more curiosity of what will happen next in Part 4.