Gone With the Wind


Main characters

  • Katie Scarlett (O'Hara) Hamilton Kennedy Butler: is the O'Haras' oldest daughter. Scarlett's forthright Irish blood is always at variance with the French teachings of style from her mother. Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton, Frank Kennedy, and Rhett Butler, all the while wishing she is married to Ashley Wilkes instead. She has three children, one from each husband: Wade Hampton Hamilton (son to Charles Hamilton), Ella Lorena Kennedy (daughter to Frank Kennedy) and Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler (daughter to Rhett Butler). She miscarries a fourth child, the only one she wanted, during a quarrel with Rhett when she accidentally falls down the stairs.[28] Scarlett is secretly scornful of Melanie Wilkes,[8] wife to Ashley, who shows nothing but love and devotion towards Scarlett, and considers her a sister throughout her life because Scarlett married Melanie's brother Charles.[15] Scarlett is unaware of the extent of Rhett's love for her or that she might love him.[91]
  • Captain Rhett K. Butler: is Scarlett's admirer and then her third husband. Rhett is often publicly shunned for his scandalous behavior[13] and sometimes accepted for his charm. Rhett declares he is not a marrying man and propositions Scarlett to be his mistress,[101] but marries her after the death of Frank Kennedy, explaining that he won't take a chance on losing her to someone else, since it is unlikely she will ever need money again after Frank's death.[24] At the end of the novel, Rhett confesses to Scarlett, "I loved you but I couldn't let you know it. You're so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett."[31]
  • Major George Ashley Wilkes: The gallant Ashley married his cousin, Melanie, because, "Like must marry like or there'll be no happiness."[13] A man of honor, Ashley became a soldier in grey in the Confederate States Army though he says he would have freed his slaves after his father's death, if the war hadn't done it first.[29] Although many of his friends and relations were killed in the Civil War, Ashley survived to see its brutal aftermath. Ashley was "the Perfect Knight",[72] in the mind of Scarlett, even throughout her three marriages. "She loved him and wanted him and did not understand him."[76]
  • Melanie (Hamilton) Wilkes: is Ashley's wife and cousin. Melanie is a genuinely humble, serene and gracious Southern woman.[71] As the story unfolds, Melanie becomes progressively physically weaker, first by childbirth, then "the hard work she had done at Tara,"[71] and she ultimately dies after a miscarriage.[102] As Rhett Butler said, "She never had any strength. She's never had anything but heart."[102]

Minor characters

I made Tara up, just as I made up every character in the book. But nobody will believe me.[103]

Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett's immediate family

  • Ellen (Robillard) O'Hara: is Scarlett's gracious mother of French ancestry. Ellen married Gerald O'Hara, who was 28 years her senior, after her true love, Philippe Robillard, was killed in a bar fight. She is Scarlett's ideal of a "great lady".[52] Ellen ran all aspects of the household and nursed negro slaves as well as poor white trash.[52] She dies from typhoid in August 1864 after nursing Emmie Slattery.[8]
  • Gerald O'Hara: is Scarlett's florid Irish father.[14] An excellent horseman,[76] Gerald is sometimes seen leaping fences on his horse while intoxicated, which eventually leads to his death.[104] Gerald's mind becomes addled after the death of his wife, Ellen.[105]
  • Susan Elinor ("Suellen") O'Hara: is Scarlett's middle sister. She became sickened by typhoid during the siege of Atlanta.[101] After the war, Scarlett steals and marries her beau, Frank Kennedy.[22] Later, Suellen marries Will Benteen and has at least one child, Susie, with him.[71]
  • Caroline Irene ("Carreen") O'Hara: is Scarlett's youngest sister and also became sickened by typhoid during the siege of Atlanta.[101] She is infatuated with and later engaged to the rowdy red-headed Brent Tarleton, who is killed in the war.[106] Broken-hearted by Brent's death, Carreen never truly gets over it and years later joins a convent.[104]
  • O'Hara Boys: are the three boys of Ellen and Gerald O'Hara who died in infancy and are buried 100 yards from the house at Tara under twisted cedars. The headstone of each boy is inscribed "Gerald O'Hara, Jr."[52]
  • Charles Hamilton: is Melanie Wilkes' brother and Scarlett's first husband. Charles is a shy and loving boy.[13] He is father to Wade Hampton, but Charles died of pneumonia before ever reaching a battlefield or seeing his son.[15]
  • Wade Hampton Hamilton: is the son of Scarlett and Charles, born in early 1862. He was named for his father's commanding officer, Wade Hampton III.[15]
  • Frank Kennedy: is Suellen O'Hara's former fiancé and Scarlett's second husband. Frank is an unattractive older man. He originally asks for Suellen's hand in marriage, but Scarlett steals him for herself in order to have enough money to pay the taxes on Tara.[107] Frank is unable to comprehend Scarlett's fears and her desperate struggle for survival after the war. He is unwilling to be as ruthless in business as Scarlett would like him to be.[107] Unknown to Scarlett, Frank is secretly involved in the Ku Klux Klan. He is "shot through the head",[108] according to Rhett Butler, while attempting to defend Scarlett's honor after she is attacked.
  • Ella Lorena Kennedy: is the homely, simple daughter of Scarlett and Frank.[23]
  • Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler: is Scarlett and Rhett's beloved, pretty, strong-willed daughter. She is as Irish in looks and temper as Gerald O'Hara, with the same blue eyes.[25]


  • Mammy: is Scarlett's nurse from birth. She is a slave who originally belonged to Scarlett's grandmother and raised her mother, Ellen O'Hara.[76] Mammy is "head woman of the plantation".[109]
  • Pork: is Gerald O'Hara's valet and the first slave he owned. Pork was won in a game of poker (as was the plantation Tara, in a separate poker game).[52] When Gerald died, Scarlett gave his pocket watch to Pork. She wanted to have the watch engraved with the words, "To Pork from the O'Haras—Well done good and faithful servant,"[71] but Pork declined the offer.
  • Dilcey: is Pork's wife and a slave woman of mixed Indian and African descent.[110] Scarlett pushes her father into buying Dilcey and her daughter Prissy from John Wilkes, the latter as a favor to Dilcey that she never forgets.[76]
  • Prissy: is a child slave-girl, Dilcey's daughter.[110] Prissy is Wade's nurse and goes with Scarlett to Atlanta when she lives with Aunt Pittypat.[15]
  • Jonas Wilkerson: is the Yankee overseer of Tara before the Civil War.[110]
  • Big Sam: is a strong, husky, hardworking field slave and the foreman at Tara. In post-war lawlessness, Big Sam comes to Scarlett's rescue from would-be merciless thieves.[111]
  • Will Benteen: is a "South Georgia Cracker,"[106] Confederate soldier and patient listener to the troubles of all. Will lost part of his leg in the war and walks with the aid of a wooden stump. He is taken in by the O'Haras on his journey home from the war and after his recovery stays on to manage the farm at Tara.[106] Fond of Carreen O'Hara, he cannot pursue that relationship as she decides to enter a convent.[104] Not wanting to leave Tara, the land he has come to love, he later marries Suellen and has at least one child, Susie, with her.[71]

Clayton County

  • India Wilkes: is the sister of Honey and Ashley Wilkes. She is described as plain. India was courted by Stuart Tarleton before he and his brother Brent fell in love with Scarlett.[14]
  • Honey Wilkes: is the sister of India and Ashley Wilkes. Honey is described as having the "odd lashless look of a rabbit."[13] Honey is so called because she indiscriminately addresses everyone, from her father to the field hands, by that endearment.[109]
  • John Wilkes: is owner of "Twelve Oaks"[76] and patriarch of the Wilkes family. John Wilkes is educated and gracious.[13] He is killed during the siege of Atlanta.[101]
  • Tarleton Boys: Boyd, Tom, and the twins, Brent and Stuart: The red-headed Tarleton boys were in frequent scrapes, loved practical jokes and gossip, and "were worse than the plagues of Egypt,"[14] according to their mother. Mrs. Tarleton laid her riding crop on their backs if the occasion seem warranted, though Boyd, the oldest and the runt, never got hit much. The inseparable twins, Brent and Stuart, at 19 years old were six feet two inches tall.[14] All four boys were killed in the war, the twins just moments apart at the Battle of Gettysburg.[112] Boyd was buried in Virginia, but only God knew where.[65]
  • Tarleton Girls: Hetty, Camilla, 'Randa and Betsy: The stunning Tarleton girls have varying shades of red hair.[109]
  • Beatrice Tarleton: is the mistress of the "Fairhill" plantation.[109] She was a busy woman, having on her hands not only a large cotton plantation, a hundred negroes and eight children, but the largest horse-breeding farm in Georgia. She was hot-tempered. No one was permitted to whip a horse or a slave, but she felt that a lick every now and then did her boys no harm.[14]
  • Calvert Family: Raiford, Cade and Cathleen: are the O'Haras' Clayton County, neighbors from another plantation, "Pine Bloom".[112] Cathleen Calvert was young Scarlett's friend.[109] Their widowed father Hugh married a Yankee governess and she was called "the second Mrs. Calvert".[21] Next to Scarlett, Cathleen "had had more beaux than any girl in the County,"[112] but eventually married their former Yankee overseer, Mr. Hilton.
  • Fontaine Family: Joe, Tony and Alex are known for their hot tempers. Joe is killed at Gettysburg,[65] while Tony eventually murders Jonas Wilkerson in a barroom and flees to Texas, leaving Alex to tend to their plantation lands.[41] Grandma Fontaine, also known as "Old Miss," is the wife of old Doc Fontaine, the boys' grandfather. "Young Miss" and young Dr. Fontaine, the boys' parents, and Sally (Munroe) Fontaine, wife to Joe,[113] make up the remaining family of the "Mimosa" plantation.[21]
  • Emmie Slattery: is poor white trash. The daughter of Tom Slattery, her family lived on three meager acres along the swamp bottoms between the O'Hara and Wilkes plantations.[52] Emmie gave birth to an illegitimate child fathered by Jonas Wilkerson, a Yankee and the overseer at Tara.[110] The child died. Emmie later married Jonas, and after the war, flush with carpetbagger cash, they try to buy Tara, but Scarlett is insulted and refuses the offer.[114]


  • Aunt Pittypat Hamilton: Her real name is Sarah Jane Hamilton, but she acquired the nickname "Pittypat" in childhood because of the way she walked on her tiny feet. Aunt Pittypat is a spinster who lives in the red-brick house at the quiet end of Peachtree Street in Atlanta. The house is half-owned by Scarlett (after the death of Charles Hamilton). Pittypat's financial affairs are managed by her brother, Henry, whom she doesn't especially care for. Aunt Pittypat raised Melanie and Charles Hamilton after the death of their father, with considerable help from her slave, Uncle Peter.[115]
  • Uncle Henry Hamilton: is Aunt Pittypat's brother and the uncle of Charles and Melanie. He is a lawyer.[115]
  • Uncle Peter: is an older man and slave. Uncle Peter is Aunt Pittypat's coach driver. He always keeps her smelling salts handy. Uncle Peter looked after Melanie and Charles Hamilton when they were young.[115]
  • Beau Wilkes: is Melanie and Ashley's son who is born in Atlanta when the siege begins and hastily transported to Tara after birth.[116]
  • Archie: is an ex-convict and former Confederate soldier who was imprisoned for the murder of his adulterous wife before the war. Archie is taken in by Melanie and then later becomes Scarlett's coach driver.[23]
  • Meade Family: Atlanta society considers Dr. Meade to be "the root of all strength and all wisdom."[115] He looks after injured soldiers during the siege with assistance from Melanie and Scarlett.[117] Mrs. Meade is on the bandage-rolling committee.[115] Their two sons are killed in the war; the older Darcy at Gettysburg,[65] and the younger Phil as a member of the Confederate Home Guard during the Battle of Atlanta.[117]
  • Merriwether Family: Mrs. Dolly Merriwether is one of Atlanta's dowagers along with Mrs. Elsing and Mrs. Whiting.[115] Post-war she sells homemade pies to survive, eventually opening her own bakery.[71] Her father-in-law Grandpa Merriwether fights in the Home Guard[118] and survives the war. Her daughter Maybelle marries René Picard, a Louisiana Zouave.[16]
  • Belle Watling: is a prostitute[87] and brothel madam[41] who is portrayed as a loyal Confederate.[87] Melanie declares she will acknowledge Belle when she passes her in the street, but Belle tells her not to.[108]

Robillard family

  • Pierre Robillard: is the father of Ellen O'Hara. He was staunchly Presbyterian even though his family was Roman Catholic. The thought of his daughter becoming a nun was even worse than that of her marrying Gerald O'Hara.[52]
  • Solange Robillard: is the mother of Ellen O'Hara and Scarlett's grandmother. She was a dainty Frenchwoman who was snooty and cold.[76]
  • Eulalie and Pauline Robillard: are the married sisters of Ellen O'Hara who live in Charleston.[15]
  • Philippe Robillard: is the cousin of Ellen O'Hara and her first love. Philippe died in a bar fight in New Orleans around 1844.[76]

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