Part Three: In this part of the story, Scarlett has to take on much more responsibility because of the war. Her headstrong ways and committed spirit have made everyone look up to her and, though glimpses of the old Scarlett shine through, this new no-nonsense version dominates.
Part Three shows the effects that the war is having on Atlanta, where Scarlett is staying alone with a pregnant Melanie after Pittypat flees the area. Scarlett is relieved that Prissy, her slave, has knowledge of "birthing babies" since Melanie tells them she is sure the baby will be coming any day now. But, when the baby is due and Melanie is struggling to stay alive, Prissy reveals that she really knows nothing about it, and Scarlett rushes to find Dr. Meade. Dr. Meade, however, is busy with tons of wounded soldiers and sends her away. Scarlett herself, with the unhelpful aid of Prissy, delivers Melanie's baby. Rhett helps the women, the baby, and Wade escape a burning Atlanta to Tara, where Scarlett's mother and sister's are sick and there is no telling whether or not the Yankees have burned the house at Tara to the ground. Rhett leaves Scarlett on her own awhile into the trip because he is going to join the military, and, through many dangers and terror, Scarlett arrives safely at Tara to find her mother has died, her father is going crazy, and the whole place is in shambles though their house has survived everything.
This was a really interesting part, I thought. Scarlett seems to grow a lot, and actually has to take responsibility for others as much as herself. I love Will - I think he's a great character, though I'm sorry to say I'd forgotten about him since the first time I read it. I've already started on Part Four, but I think Part Three was a lot better.
Picture from Google Images.