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Ella Smalley


Bold Points




Bismarck-Henning High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Journalism
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Writing and Editing

    • Dream career goals:

      RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
      "She gazed at the blackened stones and, for the last time, she saw Twelve Oaks rise before her eyes as it had once stood, rich and proud, symbol of a race and a way of living. Then she started down the road toward Tara, the heavy basket cutting into her flesh. Hunger gnawed at her empty stomach again and she said aloud: 'As God is my witness, as God is my witness, the Yankees aren't going to lick me. I'm going to live through this, and when it's over, I'm never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill -- as God is my witness, I'm never going to be hungry again.'" I’m never going to be hungry again. These words made history when the 1939 theatrical version of Gone With The Wind hit theaters. As Vivien Leigh delivered this award winning anecdote, something within the gravitas of her words and the sheer determination and despair in her voice clicked with audiences everywhere, making this novel by Margaret Mitchell a timeless classic in American literature. However, mere years earlier, these words connected with readers as well, and as it is clear to see for any individual who has read the tale of Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara, this exact moment marks a pivotal moment both within the novel, defining the very existence of Scarlett’s future and her loved ones. Multiple themes of the novel are conveyed through this passage, as Scarlett ruminates on how far she has fallen, as the only life she had ever known, full of glory, riches, and youthful delight, lay in charred rubble before her. The ‘golden days’ of Clayton County were luxurious for many, but especially for 16-year old Scarlett, who had the suitors of the town wrapped around her finger and her father’s riches providing an extremely lavish life of dresses and delicacies at her beloved childhood home, a Southern plantation called Tara. These years depicted Scarlett as selfish and vain, not afraid to use deceit to get whatever she desired and with no women friends to show for it (rather, some enemies instead). War was futile and meaningless to her as she relished in the splendor of her privileged youth, despite her Mother’s humble teachings. As the Civil war broke out, Scarlett survived, caring for her newborn, more frustrated if anything, but never broken. But as the South tumbled into defeat, Scarlett found herself back at Tara, miraculously still standing, with a deathly Melanie Wilkes, an infant, and hungry mouths to feed, looking to her for leadership. But now, her Mother, her strength and one solace, was dead, and her father disturbed, too destroyed by grief to ever be the strong, confident man that he was. And so, this moment shows Scarlett’s coming into leadership, as she takes the burden of the folk at Tara in her desperate determination to live, swearing to only ‘think about it tomorrow’, when she could bear to withstand the pain and sadness. And as she viewed the remnants of Twelve Oaks, home to her friends and neighbors, as well as her beloved childhood beau, she had finally lost something permanent that she could not whine, plead, or whittle to get back. Additionally, this passage resembles the key characteristic that separates Scarlett and her peers, such as other women and the social society in Atlanta. After the war, the South was crippled. While they could recover mostly physically – businesses rebuilt, the social scene reconvened, merriment commenced – they were always searching for what they could never find ever again: the comfort and easy way of the Golden Days. They became so fixated on the past and its beauty, its simplicity, that it stunted them from ever truly recovering. But as for Scarlett, the old days were gone – money was short, bills needed to be paid, and most importantly, food needed to be put on the table. In her mind, there was simply no point in looking upon the past, as it was futile and meaningless to the action going on now. Her logic and resoluteness allowed her to vastly surpass her friends and societal norms at the time, as she built her lumber business essentially from the ground up, as well as a store, in spite of the clang of dissent against her doing so. As she broke free from society's standards and the grip war time had on reminiscing townsfolk, she started to fully come to fruition. This brought her the finally realized the bond she shared with Melanie Wilkes, and that Ashley was never the man who was right for her or the man that she loved, and that individual instead, she realized, was Rhett Butler. This all stems from Scarlett’s monumental decision to continue to fight – against hunger, pain, and poverty. Finally, the wording in this passage serves to enhance these points. As Mitchell describes the state of Twelve Oaks (e.g. ‘blackened’), she finally breaks away from the security of the Golden Days. The basket cutting her flesh could symbolize the copious amount of pain and hardship she has already experienced and will have to endure to survive. Moreover, hunger serves as a metaphor for Scarlett’s greatest adversity, which keeps her hoarding money for years in fear that it will one day vanish. Her fears of poverty and starvation led to her continuous dream, as she ran through a mysterious, foreboding fog, that amplified these fears, whittling down her wills to continue to fight. Her dreams, and subsequently, her fears of hunger and poverty, were her wandering in confusion towards an uncertain future that was seemingly cold and uncaring, away from the warmth, comfort, and security that had blanketed her in her youth. And eventually, she found what she sought for in Rhett Butler, and even when he had rejected her love, after years of waiting for her reciprocation for years, she summed up courage once again to win him back, as she stands as a symbol of strength. Overall, this passage is the culmination of all that Scarlett had and would accomplish within the novel, marking the extreme courage and determination that fueled her character and helped her continue on. Her words should not be taken lightly, and anyone can find reassurance and strength in them as well. Perhaps, despite the magnitude of one’s adversity, anyone can overcome life’s challenges. After all, tomorrow is another day.