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ESSAY TOPIC IDEAS
1. At the end of the story, Scarlett says that she was in love with Rhett all along but just didn't realize it? She also believes that she built a romantic figure around Ashley and was never actually in love with him at all. Was her love for Ashley real or merely a fantasy? Does she transfer her love to Rhett, or did she actually love Rhett from the start?
2. Discuss the contradictions regarding Rhett. Is he truly a "bad" character?
3. Analyze the character of Melanie Wilkes in terms of static/dynamic, round/flat.
4. Analyze the character of Mammy.
5. Discuss the various factors on the parts of both Scarlett and the women of Atlanta that contribute to Scarlett's alienation.
6. Scarlett undergoes many changes in the course of the novel. Discuss these changes and tell whether they are for the better or for worse.
7. Scarlett and Rhett are frequently at cross-purposes when it comes to understand each other. Discuss the mistakes that each makes in their failed marriage.
8. When the war first starts, the southern people regard it with almost a romantic idealism in spite of the number of southern boys who get killed. Discuss the changes that are gradually brought about. At what point does the war become a "thing of terror" for the southerners?
9. Research the history of the Ku Klux Klan. Write an essay in which you discuss how the group actually developed and compare its activities with the way they are presented in the novel.
10. Analyze the importance of Tara in Scarlett's life and to the novel as a whole.