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Melanie Wilkes A Paragon of Loyalty Courage and Kindness Margaret Mitchells epic novel Gone with the Wind chronicles the drastic changes imposed on Southern society and civilization by the Civil War The heroine Scarlett OHara sees her home and position in society destroyed but struggles to adapt to the demands of war-torn Georgia She marries Rhett Butler a dashing blockade runner but clings to a romantic obsession for Ashley Wilkes Melanie Wilkes Ashleys wife and Scarletts faithful friend clings to the old traditions Melanie refused to change refused even to admit that there was any reason to change in a changing world Mitchell 725 Melanies most distinct characteristics which include loyalty courage and kindness remain a constant force throughout the entire novel Melanie Wilkess strongest characteristic is her fierce loyalty to those she loves especially to Scarlett Scarletts headstrong personality makes her unpopular and she is accepted by Atlanta society solely because people will not risk offending Melanie Melanies defense of Scarlett shields her from the dislike of other people When Belle Watling the town prostitute helps prevent the arrest of a number of Atlanta men by permitting them to use her house of ill repute as an alibi for their whereabouts Melanie rushes to Belle to thank her for saving her husbands life As Melanie is leaving Belle unwittingly insults Scarlett Melanies warm disposition immediately fades and she jumps to Scarletts defense You must not say unkind things about my sister-in-law Melanie stiffened coldly 811 An example of Melanies loyalty to her husband occurs when Rhett Butlers cynicism about the Southern cause offends many Atlanta citizens Although no one else will receive Rhett into their homes Melanie stands by him I wont be rude to him because of what he said because It was rude of him to say it out loud most ill advised but its its what Ashley thinks And I cant forbid the house to a
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