75+ Quotes from Gone with the Wind: Margaret Mitchell’s American Bestseller

Gone with the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell, is a classic American novel that was first published in 1936. It quickly gained widespread popularity and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for its vivid portrayal of life during the Civil War and Reconstruction era.

The story follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, a strong-willed and ambitious young woman who struggles to survive amidst the turmoil of war and her tumultuous relationships. Here are some of the best Gone with the Wind quotes that perfectly capture the essence of the novel:

I loved something I made up, something that’s just as dead as Melly is.
Dear Scarlett! You aren’t helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless.
It was better to know the worst than to wonder.
I can’t make money from the enforced labor and misery of others.
He was dark of face, swarthy as a pirate, and his eyes were as bold and black as any pirate’s appraising a galleon to be scuttled or a maiden to be ravished.
Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything,” he shouted […] “‘Tis the only thing worth working for, worth fighting for – worth dying for!
Why don’t you say it, you coward! You’re afraid to marry me!
Someday I’m going to do and say everything I want to do and say, and if people don’t it I don’t care.

Quotes by Scarlett O’Hara 

Scarlett O’Hara is the main character in Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel, Gone with the Wind. She is a strong-willed and selfish young woman who must learn to survive in the midst of the Civil War and the tumultuous relationships in her life. Here are some famous quotes by her from the book that capture her personality:

  • I loved something I made up, something that’s just as dead as Melly is.
  • Well, if you think I’ll marry you just to pay for the bonnet I won’t.
  • I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far.
  • Great balls of fire. Don’t bother me anymore, and don’t call me sugar.
  • If I said I was madly in love with you you’d know I was lying.
  • I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it. And when Ashley came riding along, so handsome, so different, I put that suit on him and made him wear it whether it fitted him or not. And I wouldn’t see what he really was. I kept on loving the pretty clothes—and not him at all.
  • Vanity was stronger than love at sixteen and there was no room in her hot heart now for anything but hate.
  • I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.
  • No woman would want a child of a cad like you… I wish for anybody’s child but yours.
  • As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re are not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when its all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill, as God is my witness I’ll never be hungry again.
  • Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean.
  • My life is over. Nothing will ever happen to me anymore.
  • You’d rather live with that silly little fool who can’t open her mouth except to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and raise a passel of mealy-mouthed brats just like her.
  • This war talk is spoiling the fun at every party this spring.
  • Now isn’t this better than sitting at a table? A girl hasn’t got but two sides to her at the table.
  • You led me on… you made me believe you wanted to marry me.
  • He never really existed at all, except in my imagination.
  • There was nothing else she did have, nothing but this red land, this land she had been willing to throw away like a torn handkerchief only a few minutes before. Now, it was dear to her again and she wondered dully what madness had possessed her to hold it so lightly.
  • How wonderful to know someone who was bad and dishonourable and a cheat and a liar, when all the world was filled with people who would not lie to save their souls and who would rather starve than do a dishonourable deed!

Quotes by Rhett Butler

Rhett Butler is a charming and complex character in Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone with the Wind. He is a wealthy and cynical man who becomes infatuated with the headstrong Scarlett O’Hara, and their turbulent relationship plays a central role in the story. Here are some popular Rhett Butler quotes from the book:

  • Dear Scarlett! You aren’t helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless.
  • Really, Scarlett, I can’t go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands.
  • “Sir,” she said, “you are no gentleman!” “An apt observation,” he answered airily. “And, you, Miss, are no lady.”
  • Hardships make or break people.
  • Scarlett, the mere fact that you’ve made a success of your mill is an insult to every man who hasn’t succeeded.
  • Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient.
  • My dear, I don’t give a damn.
  • You’re so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett. You take their love and hold it over their heads like a whip.
  • It cannot have escaped your notice that for some time past the friendship I have had in my heart for you has ripened into a deeper feeling, a feeling more beautiful, more pure, more sacred. Dare I name it you? Ah! It is love which makes me so bold!
  • You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.
  • She hasn’t your strength. She’s never had any strength. She’s never had anything but heart.

On Inspiration

Inspiration can be found in countless forms, and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is no exception. From the resilience and determination of its main character, Scarlett O’Hara, to the epic romance between Rhett Butler and Scarlett, this classic novel is sure to inspire and captivate readers. Here are some of its best inspirational quotes:

  • It was better to know the worst than to wonder.
  • Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.
  • Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.
  • Never pass up new experiences [Scarlett]; they enrich the mind.
  • Now you are beginning to think for yourself instead of letting others think for you. That’s the beginning of wisdom.
  • After all, tomorrow is another day!

On Slavery

Gone with the Wind is a classic novel that explores the devastating effects of slavery on the lives of both slaves and slave owners in the antebellum South. Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, this epic tale delves into the complex dynamics of race, power, and loyalty in a society deeply divided by slavery.

  • I can’t make money from the enforced labor and misery of others.
  • Why all we have is cotton and slaves and arrogance? They’d lick us in a month.
  • It was built by slave labor… He had done it all, little, hard-headed, blustering Gerald.
  • Slaves were neither miserable nor unfortunate. The n****es were far better off under slavery than they were now under freedom, and if she didn’t believe it, just look about her!

On Racism

Gone with the Wind is a classic novel that explores the theme of racism in the American South during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. The book portrays the struggles and prejudice faced by African Americans as they navigate a society built on racial hierarchy and oppression.

  • He was dark of face, swarthy as a pirate, and his eyes were as bold and black as any pirate’s appraising a galleon to be scuttled or a maiden to be ravished.
  • It was never fun to be around Mrs. Merriwether and Mrs. Elsing and Mrs. Whiting and have them boss you like you were one of the darkies.
  • And as for all this talk about the militia staying here to keep the darkies from rising—why it’s the silliest thing I ever heard of. Why should our people rise! It’s just a good excuse of cowards.
  • N****es were provoking sometimes and stupid and lazy, but there was loyalty in them that money couldn’t buy, a feeling of oneness with their white folks which made them risk their lives to keep food on the table.
  • Wilkerson and Hilton furthermore told the n****es they were as good as the whites in every way and soon white and n**** marriages would be permitted, soon the estates of their former owners would be divided and every n**** would be given forty acres and a mule for his own.
  • When she thought of the black hand at her bosom and what would have happened if Big Sam had not appeared, she bent her head lower and squeezed her eyes tightly shut.
  • Except for the n****es of course. They must have the very best. The best of schools and lodgings and clothes and amusements, for they were the power in politics and every n**** vote counted.
  • Mammy was black, but her code of conduct and her sense of pride were as high as or higher than those of her owners.
  • How dared they laugh, the black apes! How dared they grin at her, Scarlett O’Hara of Tara! She’d like to have them all whipped until the blood ran down their backs. What devils the Yankees were to set them free, free to jeer at white people!
  • And if they give the n****es the vote, it’s the end of us. Damn it, it’s our state! It doesn’t belong to the Yankees! By God, Scarlett, it isn’t to be borne! And it won’t be borne! We’ll do something about it if it means another war. Soon we’ll be having n***** judges, n***** legislators—black apes out of the jungle.

On Warfare

War is a constant presence in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, as the characters struggle to survive and thrive in the midst of the Civil War and its aftermath. From the battles on the battlefields to the personal conflicts within the characters’ relationships, war shapes the lives and decisions of those in the novel.

  • The troop of cavalry had been organized three months before, the very day that Georgia seceded from the Union, and since then the recruits had been whistling for war. The outfit was as yet unnamed, though not for want of suggestions. Everyone had his own idea on that subject and was loath to relinquish it, just as everyone had ideas about the color and cut of the uniforms.
  • Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything,” he shouted […] “‘Tis the only thing worth working for, worth fighting for – worth dying for!
  • All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drum and fine words from stay-at-home orators.
  • As she looked, two streams of blood crept across the shining floor, one from his face and one from the back of his head.
    Yes, he was dead. Undoubtedly. She had killed a man.
    […] suddenly she was vitally alive again, vitally glad with a cool tigerish joy. She could have ground her heel into the gaping wound which had been his nose and taken sweet pleasure in the feel of his warm blood on her bare feet. She had struck a blow of revenge for Tara – and for Ellen.
  • I don’t know why we fought and I don’t care,” said Scarlett. “And I’m not interested. I never was interested. War is a man’s business, not a woman’s.
  • He – well, we figure he died like a soldier and in a soldier’s cause.
  • They don’t talk of anything else, thought Scarlett. Nothing but the war. Always the war. And they’ll never talk of anything but the war. No, not until they die.

On Love

Love is a central theme in the novel. From the explosive romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler to the enduring bond between Melanie Wilkes and Ashley, love is both a source of pain and a source of strength for the characters in the book.

  • She had wanted him, in that first instant, wanted him as simply and unreasoningly as she wanted food to eat, horses to ride and a soft bed on which to lay herself.
  • Why don’t you say it, you coward! You’re afraid to marry me!
  • It was the unhappiest face she was ever to see, a face from which all aloofness had fled. Written on it were his love for her and joy that she loved him, but battling them both were shame and despair.
  • For I do love you, Scarlett, because we are so much alike, renegades, both of us, dear, and selfish rascals.
  • For the first time in her life she had met someone, something stronger than she, someone she could neither bully nor break, someone who was bullying and breaking her.
  • But, Scarlett, did it ever occur to you the even the most deathless love could wear out?
  • I love you…I’ve always loved you. I’ve never loved anybody else. I just married Charlie to – to try to hurt you. Oh, Ashley, I love you so much I’d walk every step of the way to Virginia just to be near you! And I’d cook for you and polish your boots and groom your horse – Ashley, say you love me! I’ll live on it for the rest of my life!
  • I loved something that I made up…I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it.
  • For years she had had her back against the stone wall of Rhett’s love and had taken it as much for granted as she had taken Melanie’s love, flattering herself that she drew her strength from herself alone.
  • Did it ever occur to you that I loved you as much as a man can love a woman? Loved you for years before I finally got you? During the  I’d go away and try to forget you, but I couldn’t and I always had to come back.
  • She had never understood either of the men she had loved and so she had lost them both. Now, she had a fumbling knowledge that, had she ever understood Ashley, she would never have loved him; had she ever understood Rhett, she would never have lost him.

Famous Quotes from Gone with the Wind

Here are some of the most famous quotes from this epic tale:

  • Someday I’m going to do and say everything I want to do and say, and if people don’t it I don’t care.
  • She was less frightened also because life had taken on the quality of a dream, a dream too terrible to be real. It wasn’t possible that she, Scarlett O’Hara, should be in such a predicament, with the danger of death about her every hour, every minute.
  • Oh, some day! When there was security in her world again, then she would sit back and fold her hands and be a great lady as Ellen had been. She would be helpless and sheltered, as a lady should be, and then everyone would approve of her.
  • What would a child do with the moon if it got it? And what would you do with Ashley?…you are such a fool you don’t know there can’t ever be happiness except when like mates like.
  • She is the only dream I ever had that lived and breathed and did not die in the face of reality.
  • She could get Rhett back. She knew she could. There had never been a man she couldn’t get, once she set her mind upon him.
  • I do not know what the future will bring, but it cannot be as beautiful or as satisfying as the past.
  • There was no going back and she was going forward.
  • It’s a curse—this not wanting to look on naked realities. Until the war, life was never more real to me than a shadow show on a curtain. And I preferred it so. I do not like the outlines of things to be too sharp. I like them gently blurred, a little hazy.
  • Yes, life has a glitter now—of a sort. That’s what’s wrong with it. The old days had no glitter but they had a charm, a beauty, a slow-paced glamour.
  • He loved the child, Scarlett, and I guess he drinks to forget about her.
  • Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
  • Scarlett wanted very much to be like her mother. The only difficulty was that by being just and truthful and tender and unselfish, one missed most of the joys of life and certainly many beaux.
  • He felt the usual masculine indignation at the duplicity of women. Added to it was the usual masculine disillusionment at discovering that a woman has a brain.

About the Book – Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind is a timeless classic written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936. Set in the American South during the Civil War and Reconstruction era, the novel follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, a strong-willed and independent woman who must navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

The story begins on the sprawling plantation of Tara, where Scarlett is the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. She is spoiled, selfish, and used to getting her way, but her world is turned upside down when the Civil War breaks out and threatens to destroy everything she has ever known.

Scarlett is forced to adapt to the harsh realities of war, as she watches her friends and loved ones die and her home burn to the ground. She is eventually forced to flee to Atlanta, where she becomes embroiled in a dangerous love triangle with Rhett Butler, a roguish and enigmatic man, and Ashley Wilkes, a gentle and refined southern gentleman.

Scarlett is faced with countless challenges and heartaches as she struggles to rebuild her life and find happiness. She must confront her flaws and learn to forgive herself and others for moving forward. Along the way, she discovers a strength and resilience that she never knew she had and learned to love and be loved in return.

Gone with the Wind is a sweeping epic that spans the course of a decade and covers a wide range of themes, including love, loss, family, and friendship. It is a powerful and timeless tale that continues to captivate readers to this day.

About the Author – Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell was an American author who is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gone with the Wind. Born in 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia, Mitchell was raised in a privileged and well-educated family. She attended Smith College, where she studied history and literature, and later worked as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal.

Mitchell’s writing career was fairly short-lived, as she only published one novel in her lifetime. However, that novel, Gone with the Wind, became an instant classic and has since sold millions of copies worldwide. It was adapted into a blockbuster film in 1939, which won ten Academy Awards and became one of the highest-grossing films in history.

Although Gone with the Wind was Mitchell’s only published work, she was a prolific writer and left behind a wealth of unpublished manuscripts and correspondence. She was known for her vivid and descriptive writing style and her ability to capture the essence of the South and its people.

In addition to her writing career, Mitchell was actively involved in social and political issues. She was a strong advocate for civil rights and worked to promote social justice and equality in the South. Despite her brief literary career, Margaret Mitchell left a lasting legacy as one of the most beloved and influential writers of her time.

Asma Ahmed

I identify myself as a quodophile and linguaphile, a lover of quotes and all things language. My eagerness to learn new things has helped me become fluent in several languages and still crave more knowledge. My passion for words, literature, and wisdom is evident in my writing, where I constantly explore the beauty and power of quotes as well as the meaning and context behind them. With India being my home, I am constantly seeking inspiration from its diverse cultures and languages. But my journey goes beyond the borders of the country, in which I explore global cultures and languages to create a connection between the readers and the messages of the quotes I collect. I believe words have the power to change perspectives, evoke emotions, and guide people. In my free time, I can be found scouring books, articles, and social media for new quotes to add to my collection. I am forever on the lookout for new wisdom to share with the world.

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